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Lithuanian Wildlife, Mistle Thrush: 10 Talonas (Lithuania, 1992)-Reference

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

This early post-Soviet Lithuanian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the Second Talonas (1992). The term "talonas" is the Lithuanian word for coupon. As Lithuania initially intended to used them as temporary coupon currency, similar to the Georgian Kuponi. Until a long-term national currency could be introduced. (SEE: A Brief History of the Talonas)

During their brief circulation they were occasionally called "zoologijos sodo bilietai" or "Zoo Tickets". As the majority of Talonas notes featured the wildlife of Lithuania. With the exception of the smaller First Talonas denominations, which resemble actual coupons. This particular banknote features a Mistle Thrush and nestlings.


The observe is relatively simple and can be divided into 2 sections. The 1st section to the right features an illustration depicting a Mistle Thrush with nestlings. This bird species can be seen throughout most of Europe. Behind this illustration is a multi-layer underprint, in ochre and dark gold ink. It feature rows of waving vertical ochre lines, overlaid by interlocking horizonal dark gold waves. The upper-right number "10", simply represents the note's 10 Talonas value.

The 2nd section to the left is relatively sparse. It features a black serial number (TC069581) at the upper left corner. Below is an unprinted watermark area, followed by an additional number "10".


The reverse features the note's "10" Talonas value overlaid, on a European Yew branch. This tree has great symbolic importance in European culture. Representing longevity as Yew trees can live for 100s of years. Although some famous churchyard Yews are reputed to be 1,000s of year old. Additionally the Yew is associated with death. As all parts except the fruits are poisonous. Although many animal species, such as Thrushes and Waxwings have a natural immunity to its effects.

Similar to the observe, the reverse features a underprint with dark gold waving lines. Although these waving lines are less tightly packed, than the observe. Notably the beforementioned number "10" features a double outline.

Additionally this section features a sets of text. The upper text reads "Republic Of Lithuania - Talonas", referring to the newly sovereign nation and currency. While the lower text roughly translates to "Forgery is punishable by law".

The final section to the far right is relatively simple, featuring no underprint. At its top is the print date (1992), followed by the Coat of Arms of Lithuania, and a number "10". Which simply symbolizes the notes before mentioned 10 Talonas value.

A Brief History of the Talonas

A 0.20 Talonas note, issued in 1991.
A 0.20 Talonas note, issued in 1991.

The Talonas currency was divided into 2 series, the First (1991) and Second (1992). The First Talonas series of banknotes were introduced as a temporary currency. During independent Lithuania's efforts to disassociate itself from the Soviet Ruble and the Soviet Union (1922-1991). As dependency on the hyperinflated Soviet Ruble, made pricing for everyday goods and services difficult.

The First Talonas was 5 August 1991, under the orders of Prime Minster Gediminas Vagnorius (1957-20xx). The system was unorthodox, Lithuanian salaries were paid in Soviet Rubles. While 20% of the salary was paid in First Talonas, up to 200 Talonas. Notably these banknotes lacked an officially named subdivision, instead using a simple decimal value.

In theory, Talonas banknotes were equally valued to the former Soviet Ruble. Purchases involving Talonas were equally unorthodox, as they had to be double paid. An item's or service's posted price had to be paid in an equal amount of Soviet Rubles and First Talonas. Although due to salary payments in 20% First Talonas, met equal Ruble-Talonas payments were impractical.

This was due to design, as it would force consumers to retain 80% their salary in savings. It forced the prices of expensive goods to drop, due lack of consumers. As consumers would require multiple pay-cycles to acquire enough Talonas for these purchases. Although due to new Russian monetary restrictions and delays in adopting a new long-term currency. The inflationary problem was not confronted as originally intended.

The Second Talonas was introduced on 1 May 1992, as a second temporary solution. As inflation was greater in post-Soviet Russia, than in Lithuania. The Second Talonas was introduced as a true parallel currency, unlike the First Talonas. Thus allowing the Lithuanian government to counter some effects of hyperinflation.

To the degree the Ruble was outright abandoned, in 1 October 1992. Allowing the Talonas to become the sole currency of Lithuania. On 25 June 1993, the Talonas was replaced by the Litas, at a rate of 100 Talonas to 1 Litas. Which in turn was replaced by the Euro, on 1 January 2015.

Second Talonas Gallery

(Gallery contains all banknotes of the Second Talonas series)


Additional Notes

  • This notes dimensions are 105 x 53mm or 4.13 x 2.09 in, smaller than a standard US Dollar.

  • The Litas was replaced by the Euro, at a rate of 3.4528 Litas to 1 Euro.

  • No coins were minted for either the First or Second Talonas currency.

  • Yew wood was once prized by artisans, who used it to create bows and musical instruments.

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