Georgian Lari

Laris Kursi ლარის კურსი

The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia, introduced on October 2, 1995. The National Bank of Georgia, the country's central bank, is responsible for regulating the Laris Kursi. Georgia maintains a floating exchange rate regime, meaning that the Lari's value is largely determined by market forces of supply and demand. The exchange rate is updated daily, reflecting changes in the foreign exchange market. The National Bank of Georgia may intervene when necessary to prevent excessive fluctuations and maintain stability.

The Georgian Lari (GEL) is traded against major global currencies, such as the US Dollar Icon US Dollar (USD), Euro Icon Euro (EUR), and British Pound Icon British Pound (GBP), as well as the currencies of its neighboring countries, including the Turkish Lira Icon Turkish Lira (TRY), Russian Ruble Icon Russian Ruble (RUB), Azerbaijani Manat Icon Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), and Armenian Dram Icon Armenian Dram (AMD). The exchange rates between the Lari and these currencies are determined by supply and demand in the foreign exchange market, influenced by economic indicators, geopolitical events, monetary policies, and regional trade relations. Fluctuations in the value of these major global and regional currencies can have a direct impact on the Lari's exchange rate. Monitoring the Lari's performance against these currencies is essential for businesses engaged in international trade, investors, and individuals who frequently convert between the Lari and other currencies, both within the Caucasus region and beyond.

Dolaris Kursi | Georgian Lari Icon GEL to USD US Dollar Icon Exchange Rate

GEL to USD Exchange rate: As of May 2023, the exchange rate between the Georgian Lari (GEL) and the US Dollar (USD) is approximately 1 USD = 2.65 GEL. This means that one US Dollar can be exchanged for around 2.65 Georgian Lari. The exchange rate fluctuates daily based on market conditions and can be affected by various economic and geopolitical factors.

Historical trends and fluctuations in these exchange rates: The Georgian Lari has experienced significant fluctuations against the US Dollar since its introduction in 1995. In the early 2000s, the Lari generally appreciated against the USD, with the exchange rate reaching as low as 1 USD = 1.39 GEL in 2008. However, following the global financial crisis and the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, the Lari depreciated sharply, with the exchange rate climbing to around 1 USD = 1.67 GEL by the end of that year.

The chart below shows Georgian Lari Exchange Rate against USD from June 2022 to May 2023:

GEL to USD exchange rate chart 

From 2009 to 2014, the Lari remained relatively stable against the USD, fluctuating between 1.65 and 1.75 GEL per USD. However, in 2015, the Lari experienced another period of depreciation, with the exchange rate reaching 1 USD = 2.39 GEL by the end of the year. This depreciation was largely attributed to regional economic challenges and a decline in foreign investment.

In recent years, the Lari has continued to face pressure, with the exchange rate reaching an all-time low of 1 USD = 3.48 GEL in March 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the Lari has partially recovered but remains weaker compared to its historical levels against the US Dollar.

Click here to check current Dolaris Kursi.

Understanding these historical trends and factors contributing to the Lari's performance against the US Dollar is essential for businesses, investors, and policymakers in making informed decisions and managing currency risks effectively..

Evros Kursi | Georgian Lari Icon GEL to EUR Euro Icon Exchange Rate

GEL to EUR exchange rate: As of May 2023, the Georgian Lari (GEL) trades at around 2.90 GEL per Euro (EUR). This exchange rate is subject to daily fluctuations based on market dynamics and various economic and geopolitical factors.

Check Current EUR/GEL Exchange Rate Evros Kursi.

Since the Euro's introduction in 2002, the Georgian Lari has experienced a mix of appreciation and depreciation against the common European currency. The Lari reached its strongest point against the Euro in 2008, trading at 1.73 GEL per EUR, before the global financial crisis and the Russian-Georgian war led to a sharp depreciation.

The chart below shows Georgian Lari Exchange Rate against EUR from April 2023 to May 2024:

GEL to EUR exchange rate chart

From 2009 to 2014, the Lari maintained relative stability against the Euro, hovering between 2.10 and 2.40 GEL per EUR. However, 2015 marked another period of depreciation, with the exchange rate reaching 2.79 GEL per EUR by year's end, primarily due to regional economic challenges and reduced foreign investment.

The Georgian Lari has faced continued pressure in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the exchange rate hit a record high of 4.08 GEL per EUR. Although the Lari has since recovered somewhat, it remains weaker compared to its historical levels against the Euro.

Rublis Kursi | Georgian Lari Icon GEL to RUB RUB Icon Exchange Rate

Comparison of Georgian Lari with RUB - Current Exchange Rate: As of May 2023, the Georgian Lari (GEL) trades at around 35.00 GEL per 100 Russian Rubles (RUB). This exchange rate is subject to daily fluctuations based on market dynamics and various economic and geopolitical factors.

Click here to check current RUB/GEL Exchange Rate Rublis Kursi.

Since 1995 the exchange rate between the Lari and the Russian Ruble has experienced significant fluctuations. In the early 2000s, the Lari generally appreciated against the Ruble, reaching a high of around 45.00 GEL per 100 RUB in 2008. However, following the global financial crisis and the Russian-Georgian war in the same year, the Lari depreciated sharply against the Ruble.

The chart below shows Georgian Lari Exchange Rate against RUB from March 2023 to May 2024:

Gel to Rub exchange rate chart

From 2009 to 2014, the Lari remained relatively stable against the Ruble, fluctuating between 35.00 and 45.00 GEL per 100 RUB. However, the Ruble crisis of 2014-2015, triggered by a combination of falling oil prices and international sanctions against Russia, led to a significant depreciation of the Ruble, with the exchange rate reaching around 25.00 GEL per 100 RUB by the end of 2015.

In recent years, the Lari has strengthened against the Ruble, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exchange rate has fluctuated around 35.00 GEL per 100 RUB, with the Lari benefiting from a relatively more stable economic environment in Georgia compared to the challenges faced by the Russian economy.

Liris Kursi | Georgian Lari Icon GEL to TRY TRY Icon Exchange Rate

GEL to TRY Current Exchange Rate: As of May 2023, the Georgian Lari (GEL) trades at around 0.20 GEL per Turkish Lira (TRY). This exchange rate is subject to daily fluctuations based on market dynamics and various economic and geopolitical factors.

Over the past decade, the Georgian Lari has generally appreciated against the Turkish Lira. In 2013, the exchange rate stood at around 0.90 GEL per TRY. However, the Lari has strengthened significantly since then, particularly in the wake of the Turkish Lira's sharp depreciation in recent years.

Click here to check current TRY/GEL Exchange Rate Liris Kursi.

The Turkish Lira has faced significant challenges, especially since 2018, due to a combination of factors, including high inflation, current account deficits, and geopolitical tensions. This has led to a significant depreciation of the Lira against many currencies, including the Georgian Lari.

The chart below shows Georgian Lari Exchange Rate against TRY from March 2023 to May 2024:

Gel to TRY exchange rate chart

In recent years, the Lari has continued to strengthen against the Lira. The exchange rate has fluctuated around 0.20 GEL per TRY, with the Lari benefiting from a relatively more stable economic environment in Georgia compared to the challenges faced by the Turkish economy.

History of Georgian Lari GEL

The Georgian Lari (GEL) was introduced as the country's official currency on October 2, 1995, replacing the provisional coupon currency called the Kuponi. The introduction of the Lari was a significant step in Georgia's economic transition following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the country's subsequent independence.

The name "Lari" has historical roots, as it was the name of an old Georgian monetary unit used in the 13th century during the reign of Queen Tamar. The symbol for the Lari, ₾, is a stylized version of the Georgian letter "ლ" (las).

Significant milestones in the Lari's history:

  1. 1995: Introduction of the Lari as Georgia's official currency, with banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Lari, and coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Tetri (1 Lari = 100 Tetri).
  2. 1999: Introduction of a new series of banknotes with improved security features and designs featuring prominent Georgian historical figures.
  3. 2002: Launch of a new coin series with updated designs and the introduction of a 1 Lari coin.
  4. 2016: Release of a new series of banknotes with advanced security features and refreshed designs, including a new 200 Lari banknote.
  5. 2019: Issuance of a new 10 Lari banknote made of a polymer substrate, marking the first time the National Bank of Georgia used polymer for its currency.

Georgian Lari Cureency Icon

Evolution of the Lari's design and security features:

Since its introduction, the Georgian Lari has undergone several design changes to enhance its security features and visual appeal. The initial series of banknotes featured Georgian cultural and historical figures, such as the medieval poet Shota Rustaveli and the 19th-century writer Ilia Chavchavadze.

Subsequent series have incorporated more advanced security features, such as watermarks, security threads, holographic patches, and color-shifting ink. These features have helped to deter counterfeiting and maintain public confidence in the currency.

The designs of the Lari banknotes have also evolved to showcase Georgia's rich cultural heritage, featuring iconic landmarks, artworks, and historical figures. The latest series, introduced in 2016, includes portraits of notable Georgian personalities, such as the artist Niko Pirosmani and the composer Zakaria Paliashvili, along with images of architectural monuments and cultural artifacts.

The introduction of a polymer banknote in 2019 marked another significant step in the Lari's evolution, as polymer notes offer enhanced durability and security compared to traditional paper banknotes.

Throughout its history, the Georgian Lari has played a crucial role in the country's economic development, serving as a symbol of national identity and a means of facilitating trade and commerce. The ongoing efforts to improve the currency's design and security features demonstrate the commitment of the National Bank of Georgia to maintaining the stability and integrity of the Lari.

Georgian Lari Banknotes

Below you can see the banknotes of the Georgian Lari, featuring denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200.

5 GEL Banknote5 GEL: Portrait of the great Georgian scholar and public figure Ivane Javakhishvili, inscribed "Ivane Javakhishvili 1876–1940"; Establishment of Ivane Javakhishvili's name - Tbilisi State University; Denomination numerals, inscriptions: "საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი" (National Bank of Georgia), "NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA", "ხუთი ლარი" (Five Lari), "FIVE LARI", "ეროვნული ბანკის პრეზიდენტი" (President of the National Bank), Signature of the President of the National Bank of Georgia, Year of issue - "2017", Serial number composed of two Latin letters and six Arabic numerals.

10 GEL Banknote10 GEL: Portrait of the eminent Georgian poet and public figure Akaki Tsereteli, inscribed "Akaki Tsereteli 1840 - 1915"; Recognizable Akaki Tsereteli from the lexicon, his autograph, adorned with a lyre and laurel. Denomination numerals, inscriptions: "საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი" (National Bank of Georgia), "NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA", "ათი ლარი" (Ten Lari), "TEN LARI", "ეროვნული ბანკის პრეზიდენტი" (President of the National Bank), Signature of the President of the National Bank of Georgia, Year of issue - "2019", Serial number composed of two Latin letters and six Arabic numerals.

20 GEL Banknote20 GEL: Portrait of the great Georgian writer and public figure Ilia Chavchavadze, inscribed "Ilia Chavchavadze 1837 - 1907"; Magazine "Iveria" - its publication; Journal "Sakartvelos Moambe" (Georgia's Messenger), magazine "Iveria", signature of Ilia Chavchavadze, and his personal belongings - a quill, a watch, a pipe, and glasses; Denomination numerals, inscriptions: "საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი" (National Bank of Georgia), "NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA", "ოცი ლარი" (Twenty Lari), "TWENTY LARI", "ეროვნული ბანკის პრეზიდენტი" (President of the National Bank), Signature of the President of the National Bank of Georgia, Year of issue - "2016", Serial number composed of two Latin letters and six Arabic numerals.

50 GEL Banknote50 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian king Tamar inscribed "King Tamar XII c."; Monumental monastery complex in the cliff of the 12th-13th centuries, Vardzia; Barrel vault of the 13th-century church of the Mother of God in Boreliefi; Denomination numerals, inscriptions: "საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი" (National Bank of Georgia), "NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA", "ორმოცდაათი ლარი" (Fifty Lari), "FIFTY LARI", "ეროვნული ბანკის პრეზიდენტი" (President of the National Bank), Signature of the President of the National Bank of Georgia, Year of issue - "2016", Serial number composed of two Latin letters and six Arabic numerals.

100 GEL Banknote100 GEL: Portrait of the great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli inscribed "Shota Rustaveli XII c."; Illustration from "The Knight in the Panther's Skin"; First print of a page from "The Knight in the Panther's Skin"; Ornamentation from a 17th-century manuscript of "The Knight in the Panther's Skin"; Barrelliefe of the biblical scene "Daniel in the Lion's Den" from the 7th-century biblical narrative; Denomination numerals, inscriptions: "საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი" (National Bank of Georgia), "NATIONAL BANK OF GEORGIA", "ასი ლარი" (One Hundred Lari), "ONE HUNDRED LARI", "ეროვნული ბანკის პრეზიდენტი" (President of the National Bank), Signature of the President of the National Bank of Georgia, Year of issue - "2016", Serial number composed of two Latin letters and six Arabic numerals.

Banknotes issued until 2015

1 GEL Old Banknote1 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani (Pirosmanashvili) inscribed: "Pirosmani 1862-1918". Barrel-shaped illustrations of vineyards.

2 GEL Old Banknote2 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian composer Zakaria Paliashvili inscribed: "Zakaria Paliashvili 1871-1933", the first scene of the opera "Abesalom and Eteri," created by him, in the National Opera and Ballet Theater.

5 GEL Old Banknote5 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian scholar and public figure Ivane Javakhishvili inscribed: "Ivane Javakhishvili 1876-1940"; Illustration from the column of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century).

10 GEL Old Banknote 10 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian writer and public figure Akaki Tsereteli inscribed: "Akaki Tsereteli 1840-1915", adorned with a lyre and laurel.

20 GEL Old Banknote 20 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian writer and public figure Ilia Chavchavadze inscribed: "Ilia Chavchavadze 1837-1907", featuring personal belongings of Ilia, including a lyre, a watch, a pen, and a quill.

50 GEL Old Banknote50 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian king Tamar inscribed: "Tamar the Queen 12th century", from the frescoes of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) in Mtskheta.

100 GEL Old Banknote100 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli inscribed: "Rustaveli. 12th century. From the Barrels of Angels' Ascent", referring to the frescoes depicting scenes from Rustaveli's epic poem "The Knight in the Panther's Skin" in the churches of Georgia.

200 GEL Old Banknote200 GEL: Portrait of the Georgian national hero Kaikhosro (Kakutsa) Cholokashvili inscribed: "K. Cholokashvili 1888-1930". Background features fragments of Georgian cultural heritage.

Factors Influencing the Georgian Lari Exchange Rate
  1. Economic indicators (GDP, inflation, interest rates, etc.):
    The exchange rate of the Georgian Lari is significantly influenced by the country's key economic indicators. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which reflects the overall health of the economy, can impact the demand for the Lari. Higher GDP growth often leads to increased foreign investment and a stronger currency. Inflation rates also play a crucial role, as high inflation can erode the purchasing power of the Lari and lead to depreciation. Interest rates set by the National Bank of Georgia can affect the Lari's value, as higher interest rates typically attract foreign capital, leading to appreciation.
  2. Political stability and geopolitical events:
    Political stability and geopolitical events can have a substantial impact on the Georgian Lari's exchange rate. A stable political environment and positive diplomatic relations with key trading partners can boost investor confidence, leading to increased foreign investment and a stronger Lari. Conversely, political instability, conflicts, or tensions in the region can deter investors and put downward pressure on the currency.
  3. Trade relations and balance of payments:
    Georgia's trade relations and balance of payments are significant factors influencing the Lari's exchange rate. A positive trade balance, where exports exceed imports, can lead to an appreciation of the Lari, as there is a higher demand for the currency to purchase Georgian goods and services. Conversely, a negative trade balance can put downward pressure on the Lari. The country's ability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and the level of remittances from Georgians working abroad also impact the currency's value.
  4. Monetary policy of the National Bank of Georgia:
    The monetary policy decisions made by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) play a vital role in shaping the Lari's exchange rate. The NBG sets the benchmark interest rate, which influences the cost of borrowing and the attractiveness of the Lari to foreign investors. If the NBG raises interest rates, it can lead to an appreciation of the Lari, as higher rates attract foreign capital. The NBG also has the ability to intervene in the foreign exchange market to stabilize the Lari's value, either by buying or selling the currency to counteract excessive volatility.

In addition to these factors, global economic conditions, commodity prices (particularly for Georgia's key exports), and the performance of major trading partners' currencies can also influence the Lari's exchange rate. Understanding and closely monitoring these factors is essential for policymakers, businesses, and investors to make informed decisions and effectively manage currency risks.

Cash Center of National Bank of Georgia
Cash Center of National Bank of Georgia
Future Prospects and Challenges for the Georgian Lari

Potential impact of regional and global economic developments: The future of the Georgian Lari is closely tied to regional and global economic developments. As a small, open economy, Georgia is vulnerable to external shocks and economic fluctuations in its major trading partners, such as the European Union, Russia, and Turkey. Geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and shifts in global commodity prices can all impact the demand for Georgian exports and, consequently, the value of the Lari.

In the coming years, the Lari's performance will also depend on how well Georgia navigates the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The country's ability to attract foreign investment, diversify its economy, and maintain a stable political environment will be crucial factors in determining the Lari's long-term prospects.

To maintain the stability and competitiveness of the Georgian Lari, policymakers and the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) can pursue several strategies:

  1. Prudent monetary policy: The NBG should continue to prioritize price stability and maintain a flexible exchange rate regime. By keeping inflation under control and allowing the Lari to adjust to economic fundamentals, the central bank can promote long-term stability and competitiveness.
  2. Fiscal discipline: The Georgian government should maintain fiscal discipline and avoid excessive budget deficits, which can put downward pressure on the Lari. Prudent fiscal policies can help to attract foreign investment and maintain confidence in the currency.
  3. Economic diversification: Diversifying Georgia's economy and reducing its dependence on a few key sectors, such as tourism and agriculture, can help to mitigate the impact of external shocks on the Lari. Encouraging the growth of high-value-added industries and promoting exports can contribute to a more resilient economy and a stable currency.
  4. Structural reforms: Implementing structural reforms to improve the business environment, enhance productivity, and attract foreign direct investment can support the long-term stability and competitiveness of the Lari.

To promote the Georgian Lari as a reliable and attractive currency, the following initiatives can be considered:

  1. Strengthening financial infrastructure: Developing a robust and efficient financial infrastructure, including modern payment systems, can enhance the convenience and reliability of using the Lari for domestic and international transactions.
  2. Promoting financial literacy: Encouraging financial literacy among the Georgian population can help to build trust in the Lari and the banking system, leading to increased usage and stability of the currency.
  3. Enhancing transparency and governance: Promoting transparency and good governance in the financial sector can boost confidence in the Lari and attract foreign investment.
  4. Regional cooperation: Engaging in regional economic cooperation and integration initiatives can help to promote the use of the Lari in cross-border transactions and increase its attractiveness to investors.
  5. Branding and marketing: Developing a strong brand identity for the Lari and promoting its unique features, such as its design and cultural significance, can help to raise its profile and appeal to international investors and collectors.

By pursuing these strategies and initiatives, Georgia can work towards ensuring the long-term stability, competitiveness, and attractiveness of the Georgian Lari, even in the face of regional and global economic challenges.