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A General Of Two Nations: 50 Zlotych (Poland, 1988)-Article

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

This Cold War Era Polish banknote represents the 3rd denomination of the Communist Series V, The Great Polish People (1974-1993). The Communist Series V was introduced during a period of economic recession. Which progressively worsen until the collapse of the 1991 Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Poland held a higher level of debt, than most Eastern Bloc nations.

Similar to the post-Soviet Second Uzbek So'm. The Communist Series V was repeatedly amended, with larger denominations introduced as inflation increased. It was replaced by the 4th Złoty, on 1 January 1995. The exchange rate was an impressive 10,000 Old to 1 New Złoty.


The observe depicts General Karol Świerczewski (1897-1947), who served in the Soviet Red Army. Prior to becoming installed by the Soviet NKVD, as a Polish People's Republic General. General Świerczewski fought against the Second Polish Republic, in the Polish-Soviet War (1918-1921). Making Świerczewski a controversial figure in post-Cold War Poland.

The note's header reads (trans.) "Polish Peoples' Republic", the Cold War era name of Poland. The note's value is represented by a large number (trans.) "50 Fifty Złotych", at the upper-right. While the lower-left features an additional number "50". Above this second number is the note's watermark area. The watermark features the Polish Coat of Arms, a stylized eagle.

Toward the lower-right is a Polish Coat of Arms, notably without the crown. Flanking the Coat of Arms are the signatures of the Bank President and Treasurer. According to the text above the signatures, this note was printed in (trans.) "Warsaw 1 December 1988".

The note features dual serial numbers (KB 2793875), in bright red ink. The first serial number is located on the upper-left, above the watermark area. While the second is at the lower-right, below the coat of arms.


The reverse features the Order of the Cross of Grunwald, which General Świerczewski was awarded. The header reads (trans) "National Bank of Poland". The note's value is represented by "50 Fifty Złotych", at the lower-left. A second number "50" is located at the upper-right, above the note's watermark area.

At the note's footer is a notification to the bearer. It reads (trans.), "Notes of the National Bank of Poland are legal means of payment in Poland". There is a National Bank of Poland logo located at the bottom of the watermark area.

Communist Series V Galley

(This gallery is incomplete and will be expanded, as new banknotes are databased)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 138 x 63 mm or 5.43 x 2.48 in, smaller than a standard US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are standard sized protective sleeves.

  • The Third Złoty ISO code was PLZ, it used as its official symbol.

  • The current Fourth Złoty ISO code is PLN, it retains as its official symbol.

  • The Third Złoty was divided into 100 Grosz, as are all generations of Złoty.


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