About the Georgian Lari
The lari is the official currency of Georgia. This decimalised currency is divided into hundredths with the subunit tetri. The lari has neither a symbol nor an abbreviation. The full word for lari in Georgian is used on all coins and banknotes: . The word lari is derived from an old Georgian word for property or a hoard, and tetri comes from a form of currency used in Georgia in the 13th century. The Georgian lari is issued by the National Bank of Georgia.
The lari was officially introduced in 1995, replacing a provisional coupon currency called the kuponlari, which had been used since the collapse of the Soviet Union when Georgia gained its independence. The kuponlari was issued strictly as a temporary banknote currency, replacing the Soviet ruble on par. However, due to local economic conditions, the kuponlari suffered from hyperinflation, and before the currency was replaced, it was necessary to issue notes in denominations of 1 million kuponlari.
When the lari was introduced in 1995, it became the sole legal tender of the country. It was issued by the National Bank of Georgia, which was reinstated in 1991. The National Bank was originally established in 1919, but after the takeover of the country by the Soviet Union, it became a satellite of the Soviet State Bank. The new National Bank of Georgia was constitutionally created as an independent monetary authority for Georgia. Neither the executive nor legislative branches may intervene in its activities. However, the Georgian Parliament retains the right to set national economic policy, which the National Bank must follow when issuing directives. The main purpose of the National Bank is to maintain price stability. The bank is also responsible for providing banking services to the Georgian government and foreign governments, as the case may warrant. Other duties of the National Bank of Georgia include implementing foreign exchange policy and setting commercial bank standards.
Lari is currently circulated through both coins and banknotes. The first coins were minted in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 tetri. In 2006, 1-lari and 2-lari coins were introduced, and the 50-tetri coin was replaced. Banknotes were originally printed in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 laris. A 200-lari note was added in 2007.