Exchange Currency

Polish zloty

The złoty 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. The currency sign zł, is composed of Polish small letters z and ł.

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).

Summary info

Summary information about Polish złoty
ISO 4217 Code:
Currency sign:
1 grosz, 2 grosze, 5 groszy, 10 groszy, 20 groszy, 50 groszy, 1 złoty, 2 złoty, 5 złoty
10 złoty, 20 złoty, 50 złoty, 100 złoty, 200 złoty
Central bank:
National Bank of Poland


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.). 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.

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

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, whilst the new coins were dated 1949. 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. 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 had) 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.

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 1 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.

Conditions of Poland's accession to 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. However, article 227 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland will need to be amended first, so it seems unlikely that Poland will adopt the Euro before 2019. 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.


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 1⁄6, 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.

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.

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.

Coins were introduced in 1995 (dated from 1990) in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 groszy, 1 (colloquially called złotówka), 2 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, 50, 100, 200 and 500 złotych coins also exist and are legal tender, but are not in normal circulation.


In 1794, treasury notes were issued in denominations of 5 and 10 groszy, 1, 4, 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.

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.

In 1950, new notes (dated 1948), were introduced for 2, 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). 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.

In 1995, notes (dated 1994) were introduced in denominations of 10 (colloquially called dycha), 20, 50 (two varieties, one of which was issued for collectors), 100 (colloquially called stówa or bańka) and 200 złotych. 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.

PLN banknotes pictures gallery

10 Polish złoty
Banknote of 10 Polish złoty has dimensions 138×69 mm and main colors are mauvelous, melon, light coral, pale gold, sand, tea rose, sunset, tan, khaki and wheat. The banknote of 10 Polish złoty was issued in 2008.
10 Polish złoty (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 10 Polish złoty is showing the portrait of Jozef Pilsudski and the facade of Belvedere Palace.
10 Polish złoty (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 10 Polish złoty is showing the coat of arms of Poland and the Polish Legion monument in Kielce.

20 Polish złoty
Banknote of 20 Polish złoty has dimensions 138×69 mm and main colors are liver, burlywood, vegas gold, champagne, air force blue, feldgrau, battleship grey, black, payne’s grey and cinereous. The banknote of 20 Polish złoty was issued in 2010.
20 Polish złoty (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 20 Polish złoty is showing the portrait of Frederic Chopin and part of the estate in Zelazowa Wola.
20 Polish złoty (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 20 Polish złoty is showing a landscape with willows.

50 Polish złoty
Banknote of 50 Polish złoty has dimensions 144×72 mm and main colors are ash grey, air force blue, feldgrau, pale silver, cornsilk, light yellow, grullo, pastel brown, papaya whip and khaki. The banknote of 50 Polish złoty was issued in 2006.
50 Polish złoty (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 50 Polish złoty is showing the portrait of Pope John Paul II and the world map.
50 Polish złoty (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 50 Polish złoty is showing the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski paying homage to the Pope. Also, on this banknote is showing the Totus Tuus and the Soli Deo.

100 Polish złoty
Banknote of 100 Polish złoty has dimensions 138×69 mm and main colors are manatee, cambridge blue, rifle green, gray-asparagus, tan, cinereous, timberwolf, khaki, camouflage green, desert sand, dim gray and pearl. The banknote of 100 Polish złoty was issued on the 25 March 1994.
100 Polish złoty (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 100 Polish złoty is showing the portrait of Grand Duke of Lithuania, Jogaila, and later, King of Poland Wladyslaw (Ladislaus) II Jagiello (ca. 1362 - 1 June 1434). Also, on this banknote is showing an eagle, emblem of Poland, decorative rosette and stylized elements of gothic ornamentation.
100 Polish złoty (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 100 Polish złoty is showing the Shield bearing eagle from tombstone of Ladislaus II Jagiello, with Teutonic Knight's helmet and cape, two swords, at the bottom of the shield and the Castle of Teutonic Knights at Malbork.

200 Polish złoty
Banknote of 200 Polish złoty has dimensions 144×72 mm and main colors are desert sand, sand, champagne, pearl, pale gold, grullo, shadow, wenge, pale silver and battleship grey. The banknote of 200 Polish złoty was issued on the 25 March 1994.
200 Polish złoty (Obverse)
Obverse side of the 200 Polish złoty is showing the portrait of Grand Duke of Lithuania (from 1506 until 1548), Sigismund I the Old (Žygimantas Senasis), and also King of Poland Zygmunt I Stary (1 January 1467 – 1 April 1548). Also, on this banknote is showing an Eagle, emblem of Poland and fragment of large wreath.
200 Polish złoty (Reverse)
Reverse side of the 200 Polish złoty is showing a depiction of eagle intertwined with letter "S" in center area, within hexagon from the Sigismund Chapel in cathedral on Wankel Hill in Krakow and the Wankel Castle courtyard.

Useful links

About National Bank of Poland:
National Bank of Poland
List of currencies:
Security and design features of PLN banknotes:
PLN banknotes
PLN currency on Wikipedia:
Polish złoty
Official Website of National Bank of Poland:
Commemorative coins:
Commemorative Coins