header Notes Collection

100 Latu 1923, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 14b
Years of issue: 29.06.1928 - 25.03.1941
Signatures: Padomes priekšsēdētājs: Jūlijs Augusts Celms, Galvenais Direktors: Kārlis Vanags
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1923
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 154 х 88
Printer: Valsts Papiru Spiestuve un Naudas Kaltuve, Riga

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

100 Latu 1923




Black and white, diagonal waves. The width of two waves is 20 mm.


100 Latu 1923

Throughout the field of banknotes is a patterned background.

It includes: leafy patterns (top and bottom), ribbons with Latvian folk patterns (right and left, near the denominations).

austra tree

Above of the year of issue is the Latvian embroidery patterns - Austras Koks.

Austra Tree or the Tree of the Sun is a generalized model of human knowledge and understanding.

Specialist in ornaments Daina Krauke explains: "For this purpose, a symbol expressed understanding of the human world: wooden roots symbolize the underworld, the trunk - the middle world - the middle of where we are with the animals and plants, and the foliage symbolizes the upper world - the world of the sky, to which all aspire. In this tree are combined understandings of the past, present and future, about our ancestors, about ourselves, about our children. The tree is the communication with the spiritual, not just communication, but also a manifestation of spirituality".

The symbol of the world tree is also associated with the solar road, it is the personification of the sunrise and sunset.

In its simplest form, a sign reminds a new twig begins to grow, but in the most luxurious of derivative sign is as rich as its explanation. Often Tree Austria enriched with the Sun, Moon or elements Ausekla sign, the sign of Mara.

Especially luxury usually made a central part of the sign, that is, our life.

Solar tree as an ornament is used in women's clothing - woolen fabrics in shirts, in wreaths. Maybe this is an indication that it is women who have to be the creator of beauty and the custodian of values. ( latv.)


100 Latu 1923

Along the perimeter of the banknote, the frame shows fruits and vegetables, symbolizing fertility and ribbons with Latvian national patterns.

Two girls in folk clothes. Behind them is an ancient Latvian oak tree, which was earlier and will later be shown on various banknotes of Latvia.

The girl on the left symbolizes industry (holding a gear and a hammer in her hand). At her feet is a bandaged box that symbolizes maritime trade (an anchor is partially visible near it).

The image of a girl, as an industry, is emphasized by the smoking pipes of the plant, in the background.

The girl on the right symbolizes agriculture - she holds in her hand a bundle of wheat, at her feet - a basket of fruits and vegetables.

Her image, like agriculture, emphasizes the Latvian farm (visible roofs), in the background.

coat Latvia

Coat of arms is centered, at the bottom.

The Latvian national Coat of Arms was formed after the proclamation of an independent Republic of Latvia on November 18, 1918, and was officially adopted on June 16, 1921. It was especially created for its independent statehood. The national coat of arms combines symbols of Latvian national statehood, as well as symbols of ancient historical districts.

The sun in the upper part of the coat of arms symbolizes Latvian national statehood. A stylized depiction of the sun was used as a symbol of distinction and national identity by the Imperial Russian Army's Latvian Riflemen during World War I. During the war, the sun figure was fashioned with 17 rays that symbolized the 17 Latvian-inhabited districts. The three stars above the coat of arms embody the idea of the inclusion of historical districts (Vidzeme, Latgale and combined Courland-Semigalia (Kurzeme-Zemgale) into the united Latvia.

Culturally historical regions are also characterized by older heraldic figures, which already appeared in the 17th century. Courland and Semigalia (Western Latvia) are symbolized by a red lion, which appears as early as 1569 in the coat of arms of the former Duke of Courland and Semigalia. Vidzeme and Latgale (Eastern Latvia) are symbolized by the legendary winged silver creature with an eagle's head, a griffin. This symbol appeared in 1566, when the territories known today as Vidzeme and Latgale had come under Lithuanian control.

Base of the coat of arms is decorated with the branches of an oak tree, Quercus robur, which is one of Latvian national symbols.

The Latvian national coat of arms was designed by the Latvian artist Rihards Zariņš.


The banknote, according to R. Zariņš's design engraved by Kārlis Krauze, were printed on paper, produced at the Līgatne paper mill, at the State Paper Printing House.

The manager of the state paper printing house and also the author of the 100 Latu banknote prof. R. Zariņš believed, that they are completely safe against counterfeiting, because they are a real masterpiece of the printing house - exemplary copper carving, complicated rosettes, background, etc. However, they lacked variegated security printing (iridescence method) and the marks were printed in only two colors, blue and black, which facilitated counterfeiting. Mr Zariņš soon had to announce counterfeit 100 Lats banknotes in the Government Gazette. Aleksandrs Platbārzdis quotes in this connection a letter from the former Consul General of Latvia in Oslo A. Vanags: "Mr. Zariņš was especially proud of his 100 Lats banknotes, about which he said that no one could counterfeit them. I announced this to Norges Bank, from which Mr. Zariņš received a counterfeit a couple of weeks later, which I sent together with the original 100 lats mark with a request to state which is the counterfeit, which is the real one. It had made Mr. Zariņš nausea, because I never got an answer." ( .lat)

Designer: Rihards Zariņš.

Rihards Zariņš

Rihards Zariņš (also Richards Zarriņš or Richard Sarrinsch in German speaking countries; Kocēni, June 27, 1869 - Riga, April 21, 1939) was a prominent Latvian graphic artist.

He was born in Kocēni and grew up in Līgatne and later in Grīva. He pursued his studies in St. Petersburg, where he graduated in 1895 from the Stieglitz Central School for Technical Drawing. He then went on to further studies in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, where he studied lithography, and Paris, where he honed his skills in watercolour and pastels.

He returned to Russia where he was employed by the Russian Imperial Printing Office in St. Petersburg for 20 years, acting as technical director. From 1905 he was in charge of designing state papers. In 1919, he returned to newly independent Latvia where he was appointed director of the government printing house. He held that position for over 14 years and retired at the beginning of 1934. After a stroke, he lost his ability to speak; however, he continued to draw until the last day of his life.

Zariņš was one of the best-known Latvian graphic artists. His first works appeared in the early 1890s on the pages of the then-popular Latvian-language magazine, "Austrums" (The East), when he was still a student at the Stieglitz art school. He dedicated a great amount of time in the study of folk ornamentation, and under his leadership, the state publishers produced a monumental work on Latvian decorative arts.

During his career, the artist designed many stamps of the Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, Belarusian People’s Republic, and Latvia. He is an author of the very first Soviet stamps issued in 1918.

Zariņš was a prolific artist who produced many book illustrations, engravings and lithographs. His oeuvre also contains drawings, water-colour painting, and caricatures. Among his works of applied art are the design of the Latvian coat of arms as well as several designs for bank notes issued by the Printing Office, and several coins of the Latvian lats.

On May 19, 2020, one of the visitors to my site, from Moscow, asked me a question. In particular, he asked:

"Why is the issuer of 10 latu banknotes is the State Treasury (Latvijas valsts kases zime) and issuer of other denominations is the Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Bankas)?"

I couldn’t immediately answer this question, but.. I was interested in it:) I had to start translating the article - in the article the answer to the above question!, In Latvian, I apologize for possible shortcomings in the translation.

Please, read here.