Polish złoty

Polish złoty
Polski złoty  (Polish)
Polish golden  (English)
200zl r.jpg Polish 5-Zloty coin (1994).gif
200-złoty banknote obverse 5-złoty coin reverse
ISO 4217 code PLN
Central bank National Bank of Poland
 Website www.nbp.pl
User(s) Poland Poland
Inflation 0.7%
 Source [1] (January 2014)
 1/100 Grosz
 Grosz gr
Plural The language(s) of this currency belong(s) to the Slavic languages. There is more than one way to construct plural forms.
Coins 1gr, 2gr, 5gr, 10gr, 20gr, 50gr, 1zł, 2zł, 5zł
Banknotes 10zł, 20zł, 50zł, 100zł, 200zł
Mint Mennica Polska
 Website www.mennica.com.pl

The złoty (pronounced [ˈzwɔtɨ] ( );[2] sign: ; code: PLN), which literally means "golden", is the currency of Poland. The modern złoty is subdivided into 100 groszy (singular: grosz, alternative plural forms: grosze; groszy). The recognized English form of the word is zloty, plural zloty or zlotys.[3] The currency sign zł, is composed of Polish small letters z and ł (Unicode: U+007A z latin small letter z & U+0142 ł latin small letter l with stroke).

As a result of inflation in the early 1990s, the currency underwent redenomination. Thus, on January 1, 1995, 10,000 old złotych (PLZ) became one new złoty (PLN).


First złotyEdit

5 Zlotych, first issue of 1794
10 Zlotych, first issue of 1794
25 Zlotych, first issue of 1794
50 Zlotych, first issue of 1794
100 Zlotych, first issue of 1794
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth first issued złotych banknotes in 1794 under the authority of Tadeusz Kościuszko. The 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 złotych are depicted above. A 500 and 1,000 złotych were issued but are very rare.

Kingdom of Poland and Polish-Lithuanian CommonwealthEdit

The złoty (golden) is a traditional Polish currency unit dating back to the Middle Ages. Initially, in the 14th and 15th centuries, the name was used for all kinds of foreign gold coins used in Poland, most notably Venetian and Hungarian ducats. In 1496 the Sejm approved the creation of a national currency, the złoty, and its value was set at 30 groszy, a coin minted since 1347 and modelled on the Prague groschen. The grosz was subdivided into 2 półgrosz or 3 solidi.

The name złoty (sometimes referred to as the florin) was used for a number of different coins, including the 30 groszy coin called the polski złoty, the czerwony złoty (Red złoty) and the złoty reński (the Rhine guilder), which were in circulation at the time. However, the value of the Polish złoty dropped over time relative to these foreign coins and it became a silver coin, with the foreign ducats eventually circulating at approximately 5 złotych.

Following the monetary reform carried out by King Stanisław August Poniatowski, the złoty became Poland's official currency and the exchange rate of 1 złoty to 30 groszy was confirmed. Until 1787, the złoty was tied to the Conventionsthaler of the Holy Roman Empire, with 8 złoty equal to one Conventionsthaler and, consequently, 4 groschen equal to the złoty. Two debasements of the currency occurred in the years before the final partition of Poland.

Duchy of WarsawEdit

The złoty remained in circulation after the Partitions of Poland and the Duchy of Warsaw issued coins denominated in grosz, złoty and talar (plurals talary and talarów), worth 6 złoty. Talar banknotes were also issued.

Congress PolandEdit

From 1816, the złoty currency was issued by the Russian controlled Congress Poland, with a fixed exchange rate between the Polish and Russian currencies of 1 kopeck = 2 grosze, or 15 kopeck = 1 złoty. The Warsaw mint issued grosz and złoty until 1832, when it began to issue coins denominated in both Polish and Russian currencies. From 1842, the Warsaw mint issued regular type Russian coins along with some coins denominated in both grosz and kopeck. In 1850, the last coins bearing Polish denominations were minted. Between 1835 and 1846, the Republic of Kraków also issued a currency, the Kraków złoty

Currencies of Congress Poland Ruble and MarkEdit

10 Polish Marks, 1917

From 1850, the only currency issued for use in Congress Poland was the rubel consisting of Russian currency and notes of the Bank Polski. The monetary system of Congress Poland was unified with the Russian Empire following the failed January Uprising in 1863. However, the gold coins remained in use until the early 20th century, much like other gold coins of the epoch, most notably gold roubles (dubbed świnka, or piggy) and sovereigns. Following occupation of the Congress Poland by Germans during World War I in 1917, the rubel was replaced by the marka (plurals marki and marek), a currency initially equivalent to the German Papiermark.

Second złotyEdit

Second RepublicEdit

2-złoty banknote from 1936

The złoty was reintroduced as Poland's currency by Władysław Grabski in 1924, following the hyperinflation and monetary chaos of the years after World War I. It replaced the marka at a rate of 1 złoty = 1,800,000 marek and was subdivided into 100 groszy. The złoty was pegged at 0.1687 grams pure gold. 1 1939-złoty = 8 2004-złoty.[citation needed]

General GovernmentEdit

50-złoty banknote from 1940

On December 15, 1939, the new Bank Emisyjny was established by the General Government, itself set up by Nazi Germany. In May 1940, old banknotes of 1924–1939 were stamped by the new entity. The money exchange was limited per individual, the limits varied according to the status of the person (Pole, Jew, etc.).[citation needed] The fixed exchange rate 1 Reichsmark = 2 złote was established. A new issue of notes appeared in 1941. The General Government also issued coins using similar designs to earlier types but with cheaper metals.

Lublin PolandEdit

New złoty banknotes were introduced after July 22, 1944 by the Narodowy Bank Polski. They circulated until 1950.

Third złotyEdit

In 1950, a new złoty (PLZ) was introduced, replacing all earlier issues at a rate of one hundred to one. The new banknotes were dated 1948, while the new coins were dated 1949. Initially by law from 1950 1 złoty (zł) = 0.222168 g of pure gold, see also Dziennik Ustaw 50, 459. From January 1, 1990 it was a convertible currency.

Between 1950 and 1990, a unit known as the złoty dewizowy (which can be roughly translated as the foreign exchange złoty) was used as an artificial currency for calculation purposes only. It existed because at the time the złoty was not convertible and its official rate of exchange was set by the Government, and there existed several exchange rates depending on the purpose of the transaction and who was exchanging, i.e. a given amount in złoty could be exchanged for say US dollars at one of several official exchange rates depending on what was to be bought for the hard currency and the company that was buying foreign exchange; it worked similarly when a company had some earnings in Western currency and wanted (or needed) to convert them into złotych. The exchange rate did not depend on the amount being converted. Visitors from countries outside of the Soviet Bloc were offered a particularly poor exchange rate. Concurrently, the private black-market exchange rate contrasted sharply with the official government exchange rate until the end of Communist rule in 1989 when official rates were tied to market rates.

Fourth złotyEdit

The new Polish złoty (PLN) is the unofficial name of the current currency of Poland, introduced on January 1, 1995 as a result of the redenomination of the old currency. The official name of the Polish currency did not change since the Polish currency law of 1950 (DZ.U nr 50. poz. 459 with later changes), which defines the official currency as the złoty, up to one million denominated notes remains in effect. The redenomination rate was 10,000 old Polish złoty to 1 new Polish złoty. The issuing bank is the National Bank of Poland. See also original law from 7 July 1994 Dziennik Ustaw Nr 84, 386


Conditions of Poland's joining the European Union (in May 2004) oblige the country to eventually adopt the euro, though not at any specific date and only after Poland meets the necessary stability criteria. Serious discussions of joining the Eurozone have ensued.[4][5][6] However, article 227[7] of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland will need to be amended first,[8] so it seems unlikely that Poland will adopt the Euro before 2019.[9] Public opinion research by CBOS from March 2011 shows that 60% of Poles are against changing their currency. Only 32% of Poles want to adopt the Euro, compared to 41% in April 2010.[10]


First złoty coinsEdit

In the late 18th century, coins were issued in denominations of ⅓, ½, 1, 3, 6, 7½, 10 and 15 groszy, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 złotych. The ⅓ and ½ grosz were denominated as the solidus and polgrosz, whilst the 7½ and 15 groszy (copper) were denominated as 1 and 2 silver groschen. Coins up to 3 grosz were minted in copper, those between 6 and 15 grosz were billon whilst the denominations from 1 złoty upward were in silver.

The Duchy of Warsaw issued copper 1 and 3 grosze, billon 5 and 10 groszy and silver ⅙, ⅓ and 1 talar. After 1816, the Congress Poland issued copper 1 and 3 grosze, billon 5 and 10 groszy, silver 1, 2, 5 and 10 złotych, and gold 25 and 50 złotych. During the insurrection of 1831, coins were minted for 3 and 10 groszy, 2 and 5 złotych.

Between 1832 and 1834, coins denominated in both Polish and Russian currencies were issued, for 1 złoty (15 kopeck), 2 złote (30 kopeck), 5 złotych (¾ ruble), 10 złotych (1½ ruble) and 20 złotych (3 ruble). These were issued, along with the copper and billon coins, until 1841. In 1842, Russian coins were introduced, supplemented by 40 groszy (20 kopeck) and 50 groszy (25 kopeck) coins. These two coins were issued until 1850.

Second złoty coinsEdit

In 1924, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy, 1 and 2 złote. The lowest three denominations were first minted in brass, then in bronze. The 10, 20 and 50 groszy were in nickel, with the higher denominations in silver. Gold 10 and 20 złotych coins were minted in 1925. Silver 5 złotych coins were introduced in 1928. The size of the silver coins was reduced in 1932, a move accompanied by the introduction of silver 10 złotych coins. During the German occupation of World War II, 1, 5, 10 and 20 groszy coins were issued (dated 1923) in zinc and 50 groszy (dated 1938) in nickel plated iron or iron.

Third złoty coinsEdit

In 1950, coins were issued for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy and 1 złoty. All denominations were minted in aluminium. Previously (1949) the 5 groszy was minted in bronze, the denominations above 5 groszy minted in cupro-nickel and 1 and 2 groszy were in aluminium. From 1957, aluminium coins for 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy and 1 złoty were issued, with aluminium 2 and 5 złotych introduced in 1958. Cupro-nickel 10 and 20 złotych followed in 1959 and 1973, respectively. Brass 2 and 5 złotych were introduced in 1975, reverting to aluminium in 1989. In 1990, 1 (aluminium), 10, 20, 50 and 100 złotych coins were issued, although they saw little circulation due to the high inflation occurring at that time.

Fourth złoty coinsEdit

Coins were introduced in 1995 (dated from 1990) in denominations of 1, 2, 5 (colloquially called miedziaki corresponding to its copper colour or dziady as coins with very low value and identified with poor people), 10, 20 and 50 groszy, 1 (colloquially called złotówka), 2 (colloquially called dwójka) and 5 złotych (colloquially called piątka). The 1, 2, and 5 groszy are minted in brass, and the 10, 20 and 50 groszy and 1 złoty in cupro-nickel, whilst the 2 and 5 złotych are bimetallic. 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 złotych coins also exist and are legal tender, but are not in normal circulation. The 5, 10, 20 zlotych coins are often made of silver whilst the 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 zlotych coins are made of gold. They are minted by the Mint of Poland and issued by the Bank of Poland for the main purpose of numismatics. 2 zl coins are issued every year, an average of 12 annually, made of Nordic Gold they are legal tender, but not recommended for circulation


First złoty banknotesEdit

In 1794, treasury notes were issued in denominations of 5 and 10 groszy, 1 złoty, 4 złote, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 złotych. The Duchy of Warsaw issued notes for 1, 2 and 5 talarów.

In 1824, the Bank Kassowy Królestwa Polskiego issued notes for 10, 50 and 100 złotych. The Bank Polski issued notes dated 1830 and 1831 in denominations of 1, 5, 50 and 100 złotych, whilst assignats for 200 and 500 złotych were issued during the insurrection of 1831. From 1841, the Bank Polski issued notes denominated in rubel.

Second złoty banknotesEdit

In 1924, along with provisional notes (overprints on old, bisected notes) for 1 and 5 groszy, the Ministry of Finance issued notes for 10, 20 and 50 groszy, whilst the Bank Polski introduced 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 złotych. From 1925, the Ministry of Finance issued 2 and 5 złotych notes, before they were replaced by silver coins, and the Bank Polski issued 5, 10, 20 and 50 złotych notes, with 100 złotych only reintroduced in 1932. In 1936, the Bank Polski issued 2 złote notes, followed in 1938 by Ministry of Finance notes for 1 złoty.

In 1939, the General Government overprinted 100 złotych notes for use before, in 1940, the Bank Emisyjny w Polsce was set up and issued notes for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 złotych. After liberation, notes (dated 1944) were introduced by the Narodowy Bank Polski for 50 grosz, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 złotych, with 1000 złotych notes added in 1945.

Third złoty banknotesEdit

In 1950, new notes (dated 1948), were introduced for 2 złote, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 złotych. 1000 złotych notes were added in 1962. 200 and 2000 złotych notes were added in 1976 and 1977, followed by 5000 złotych notes in 1982. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw high inflation in Poland and led to the introduction of notes in denominations of 10,000 (in 1987), 20,000 (1989), 50,000 (1989), 100,000 (1990), 200,000 (1989), 500,000 (1990), 1,000,000 (1991) and 2,000,000 złotych (1992). A possible 5,000,000 zlotych banknotes with the portrait of Marshall Jozef Pilsudski was in planning, but scrapped after the fall of Communism. These notes (and coins of course) were valid (with the exception of the 200,000 one) until the end of 1996. They could be exchanged at the National Bank of Poland (and some banks obligated to it by the NBP) until December 31, 2010; they are no longer legal tender.

Fourth złoty banknotesEdit

In 1995, notes were introduced in denominations of 10 (colloquially called dycha), 20, 50, 100 (colloquially called stówa {"stówka"} or bańka) and 200 złotych. Since 2006 several commemorative banknotes for collectors have been issued.

A few years after redenomination in 1995, the National Bank of Poland wanted to introduce a 500 złotych banknote, but a detailed economic analysis has shown that there is no such need, and the plans were abandoned.[11]

First series, "Sovereigns of Poland", (1994)[12]
Image Value Dimensions Watermark Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue annul
10 złoty (Poland) note.jpg 10 zł 120 × 60 mm As portrait Mieszko I Silver denar coin during the reign of Mieszko I 25 March 1994 1 January 1995 current
20zl r.jpg 20 zł 126 × 63 mm Bolesław I the Brave Silver denar coin during the reign of Bolesław I Chrobry
50zl r.jpg 50 zł 132 × 66 mm Casimir III the Great White Eagle from the royal seal of Casimir III the Great and the regalia of Poland: sceptre and globus cruciger
100zl r.jpg 100 zł 138 × 69 mm Władysław II Jagiełło Shield bearing a White Eagle from the tombstone of Władysław II Jagiełło, coat of the Teutonic Knights and the Grunwald Swords 1 June 1995
200zl r.jpg 200 zł 144 × 72 mm Sigismund I the Old Eagle intertwined with the letter S in a hexagon, from the Sigismund's Chapel
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimeter.


The emission of zloty and grosz coins are shown in the tables.


Year/coin 5 zł 2 zł 1 zł 50 gr 20 gr 10 gr 5 gr 2 gr 1 gr
1990 20,240,000 29,152,000 25,100,000 43,055,000 70,240,000 34,400,000 29,140,000
1991 60,080,000 99,120,000 75,400,000 123,164,300 171,040,000 97,410,000 79,000,000
1992 102,240,000 116,000,000 106,100.001 210,000,005 103,784,000 157,000,003 362,000,000
1993 20,904,000 84,240,008 20,280,101 80,780,000
1994 112,896,033 79,644,000 69,956,000
1995 122,880,020 99,740,122 101,600,113 102,280,109
1996 52,940,003 29,745,000
1997 59,755,000 92,400,002 103,080,002
1998 52,500,000 62,695,000 93,472,002 154,840,050 257,640,003
1999 25,985,000 47,040,000 99,024,000 187,900,000 203,970,000
2000 52,135,000 104,060,000 75,600,000 94,500,000 210,100,000
2001 41,980,001 62,820,000 67,368,000 84,000,000 210,000,020
2002 10,500,000 10,500,000 67,200,000 83,910,000 240,000,000
2003 20,400,000 31,500,000 48,000,000 80,000,000 250,000,000
2004 40,000,025 70,500,000 62,500,000 100,000,000 300,000,000
2005 5,000,000 37,000,025 94,000,000 113,000,000 163,003,250 375,000,000
2006 5,000,000 35,000,000 40,000,000
2007 20,000,000 68,000,000 100,000,000
2008 5,000,000 15,000,000 5,000,000 13,000,000 91,000,000 103,000,000
2009 59,000,000 62,000,000 34,000,000 57,000,000 133,000,000 146,000,000 1 2

Exchange ratesEdit

Current PLN exchange rates

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bartyzel, Dorota (15 January 2014). "Polish Inflation Accelerates From Five-Month Low on Gas, Alcohol". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ The nominative plural, used for numbers ending in 2, 3 and 4 (except those in 12, 13 and 14), is złote [ˈzwɔtɛ]; the genitive plural, used for all other numbers, is złotych [ˈzwɔtɨx]
  3. ^ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd ed., p. 2078.
  4. ^ "Poland may hold euro referendum in 2010-Deputy PM". Forbes. September 18, 2008. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Poland may push back euro rollout to 2012". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved September 19, 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Poland may push back euro rollout to 2012". BizPoland. Retrieved September 19, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2nd April 1997, as published in Dziennik Ustaw (Journal of Laws) No. 78, item 483". Parliament of the Republic of Poland. Retrieved September 25, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Polish charter must change before ERM-2". www.fxstreet.com. Retrieved September 25, 2008. 
  9. ^ Sobczyk, Marcin (May 18, 2011). "Poland Backtracks on Euro Adoption". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  10. ^ "CBOS za przyjęciem euro 32 proc. Polaków, przeciw 60 proc.". bankier.pl. March 28, 2011. Retrieved 3-04-2011. 
  11. ^ Zbigniew Nestorowicz: „Polski talar dla Europy”, Tygodnik Powszechny (in Polish).
  12. ^ National Bank of Poland - Internet Information Service

External linksEdit

First złoty
Preceded by:
Ratio: 1 złoty = 15 groszy
Currency of Poland
1496 – 1850
Succeeded by:
Polish rubel and Russian ruble
Reason: partition of Poland
Ratio: 1 rubel/ruble = 6⅔ złotych
Second złoty
Preceded by:
Polish marka
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 złoty = 1,800,000 marek
Currency of Poland
1924 – 1950
Succeeded by:
Third złoty
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 third złoty = 100 second złotych
Third złoty
Preceded by:
Second złoty
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 third złoty = 100 second złotych
Currency of Poland
1950 – 1995
Succeeded by:
Fourth złoty
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 fourth złoty = 10,000 third złotych
Fourth złoty
Preceded by:
Third złoty
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 fourth złoty = 10,000 third złotych
Currency of Poland
1995 –
Succeeded by:
Current; will be succeeded by Euro in the future
Reason: EU membership
Ratio: not yet decided

Last modified on 4 April 2014, at 09:04