Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Money Museum in my Pocket

When we visited Vilnius last month, one of our favorite places was the money museum, which is a public education project housed in Lithuania's central bank.  Lithuanian currency is called the litas.  There are paper notes in a number of denominations, and then there are coins.  In the photo of my pocket change above, there are (top row, left to right) 5 litas, 2 litas, and 1 litas coins.  Then there is the small change (bottom row, left to right):  50 centu, 20 centu, 10 centu, 5 centu,, 2 centu, and 1 centu coins.  The litas is trading today for .40 dollars U.S., which means that the pocketful of loose change pictured above (27.25 litas) is worth about $10.83.

The interesting thing about the litas is that Lithuania is scheduled to join the Eurozone on January 1, 2015, and in anticipation of that, the value of the litas already has been pegged to the Euro, which is another way of saying that Lithuania has converted to the Euro in a manner that allows the litas a year-long victory lap.  Seems only fair.

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