header Notes Collection

20 Latu 1992, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 45
Years of issue: 28.06.1993
Signatures: Bank Governor: Einars Repše
Serie: 1992 Issue
Specimen of: 1992
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 130 x 65
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Muenchen

* 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.

20 Latu 1992




Latvian girl in national headdress. Allegory of Latvia.


20 Latu 1992


Ancient Latvian farmstead and stylized oak leaves that are visible to the light, superimposed on a decorative background. Banknotes of 2004, 2007 and 2009 Issue have two par value 20 Ls, embedded above. In the upper part of the banknote a bicolor inscription LATVIJAS BANKAS NAUDAS ZIME (Money Bank of Latvia), under which the serial number of the banknote is inscribed in red.

Vidzeme Vidzeme

I didn’t find exactly the same type as on the banknote this time, but ...

I had an assumption, after visiting the Latvian Ethnographic Museum under the open sky, on Lake Jugla, in Riga. Houses on the banknote are very similar to the Latvian farm in Vidzeme (one of the five regions of Latvia), judging by the features of the houses. Against the background of such houses, in the museum, I did my photos.

At the bottom of the banknote are the inscriptions DIVDESMIT LATU (twenty lats) in two-color printing, LATVIJAS BANKA (Bank of Latvia), facsimile signature of Governor of the Bank of Latvia, and the serial number of the banknote in black.

On the right side of the note is a vertical decorative strip, which is created based on Lielvarde belt and numeral 20. In the upper left part of the banknote are two brown dots relief (Braille), arranged horizontally on white background over a watermark. Under watermark the numeral 20, consisting of microprinted "Ls 20", superimposed on the ranges that contain inscriptions LATVIJAS BANKA (Bank of Latvia). The number 20 on the banknotes of 2004, 2007 and 2009 Issue in a special print, which produces an optical effect - changes the color depending on the viewing angle. Horizontally, a thick line includes horizontal rows and vertical scroll, on which, in the relief pattern, repeatedly four numerals 20 in different colors.

Lielvarde BeltOn right side is Latvian national ornament, taken after Lielvarde Belt.

The Lielvārde belt is regarded as an outstanding example of a hand-woven adornment, a two-colored (red, white), patterned combination with the middle or the edges interwoven with a green or, more rarely, blue or purple thread, and with a variable motif (geometric pattern). Historically, its geographic distribution was Jumprava, Kastrāne, Krape, Laubere, Lēdmane, Lielvārde, Madliena, Meņģele, and Rembate parishes. Although traditional belts from elsewhere in the country stand out with their rich ornamentation, only the Lielvārde belt has become the basis for a modern myth of the belt’s very ancient origins, the cosmic code that is written into it, and its special powers of protection. In Latvian contemporary culture, the Lielvārde belt leads its own independent, symbolic existence in people’s consciousness and its motifs are often used in contemporary culture.

This independent life began with director Ansis Epners’s documentary "Lielvārdes josta" (The Lielvārde Belt; 1980) whose script was written by Estonian graphic artist Tenu Vint. Comparing the Lielvārde belt ornamentation with other national and cultural patterns, Vint raised the hypothesis that this belt had preserved the information code of an ancient civilization; that the story of the universe was inscribed therein. A German mystic and healer by the name of Dina Ries, encouraged by Latvian Rasma Rozīte, "read" the belt’s ancient information in 1986. The Lielvārde belt was one of the most powerful symbols in the years of Latvian national awakening movement in the late 1980s and has not lost its importance even today.

The information that ornamented belts in antiquity were not used only as a personal adornment but also served to protect the wearer is found in a number of traditions, although that does not necessarily mean that the Lielvārde belt must have been a part of, for instance, a priest’s clothing. The scenario for the origins of the Universe read into the belt; the belt as a meditative system; as a yet untested piece of knowledge of the Universe may or may not be true: much will depend on what and how we want to see. One thing is more or less clear, however: it is the Lielvārde belt that possesses a mythical power far beyond that of other belts and it is not because of the technology used in making it or because of its complicated patterns or beautiful colors, but because of its powerful symbolism.

Māras krustsThe base of ornament consist if traditional squares, which named Māras krusts (The cross of Mara, also the cross of crosses).

The symbol of perfection and fertility. Mara is a protector of health, custodian of women and supplier of bread. Protects against evil spirits. (Māras zīme latv.)


20 Latu 1992

The motif from traditional Latvian ornaments.

Vertical metal strips sewn into the paper to the left of the center of the banknote (banknotes released in 2004, 2007 and 2009 include a wider metal strip with holographic print "Ls 20"). Stylized oak leaves to the right of center.

In the upper part of the banknote is the inscription DIVDESMIT LATU (twenty lats) with the number 20. Also, the number 20 and the two-tone inscription LATVIJAS BANKAS NAUDAS ZIME (Money Bank Latvia) are at the bottom of the banknote.

Vertical strip with diagonal stripes on the left side of the decorative motif. Along the edges of the strip is an inscription © Latvijas BANKA 1992 (© Bank of Latvia 1992) on white background. Design of a large coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia, with the year of issue under it, is shown on a white background in the lower right corner of the banknote. Above the coat of arms is watermark.

coat Latvia

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 XVII 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.


Designers: silkscreen specialist Valdis Ošiņš and architect Imants Žodžiks.