National Bank of Poland shows a new 500 PLN banknote

Monday was an unusual day for Marek Belka, the President of the National Bank of Poland. The President showcased a new banknote that is to be introduced in Poland in 2017.

The new banknote will have the face value of 500 PLN. This means there will be six notes on the Polish market in total. The new addition will complement the already existing 10 PLN, 20 PLN, 50 PLN, 100 PLN, and 200 PLN. Poles also pay with coins.

The 500 PLN note will be one of the most valuable single unit of currency in the world. As of today, 500 PLN is the equivalent of around 130 USD or 114 EUR. Meanwhile, the 200 PLN note, currently the highest banknote in value, when compared with the EU countries, does not carry a lot of purchasing power.

The new paper currency will bear the image of King Jan III Sobieski, a monarch ruling Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, who made himself famous through the victory in the Battle of Vienna over the Ottoman army.

The note and the king’s image have been designed by Polish graphic artist Andrzej Heidrich. It was also him who designed the other PLN notes. They bear portraits of some other Polish monarchs: Mieszko I, Bolesław I Chrobry, Kazimierz III Wielki, Władysław II Jagiełło, and Zygmunt I Stary.

The National Bank of Poland decided to introduce a new banknote mainly in order to cut the cost of storing the strategic reserve of the Bank, as well as to bring down money emission costs. It is not very likely that average Poles will see the new bill it anytime soon.

Marek Belka deemed the move necessary, indicating that in Poland the demand for cash has been growing. According to the data presented by the NBP, the demand for the currently highest banknote, 200 PLN, has increased by 28% in the recent year. As of today, in Poland there are around 1.77 billion of notes.

The new 500 PLN paper will become a legal tender in Poland in February 2017. The National Bank of Poland has been working on the banknote since 2014. Many expected that it will have the image of a female monarch. However, this would breach the historic continuity of the series.

The banknotes are printed by Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartościowych (Polish Security Printing Works).