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Lithuanian Wildlife, The Western Osprey: 5 Talonas (Lithuania, 1991)- Reference

This early post-Soviet Lithuanian banknote represents the 6th denomination of the First Talonas (1991). 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 Western Osprey.


The observe depicts a Western Osprey, one of the many seasonal birds that migrate from Northern Europe. Despite this detailed illustration the observe is relatively sparse. Featuring a blue-gray on white scheme with waving stripes. The note's Five Talonas value is represented by a number "5", on the lower left and right corners.

Notably the observe can be divided into 2 section, with varying underprint. The first section covering the roughly the first 5th of the observe. Featuring a mostly unprinted background with waving bands, each formed from 6 lines. These waving bands extended outward toward to the right. Completing this section is a single outlined navy blue number "5", with horizontal lines and a vertical serial number "AX No 466868".

The second section, features the Western Osprey illustration. The bands in this section are intermeshed with a background of light blue vertical waving lines. These combine with the waving bands from the first section. If one looks closely an additional set of light gray lines can be seen, waving slightly toward the right. Notably the Osprey is superimposed on a separate/final print.


The reverse features the note's "5" Talonas value overlaid, on a European Oak branch. The European Oak represents one of the many symbols of Lithuania. Representing longevity and tradition, as is also common throughout Northern and Central European culture. The famous Stelmužė Oak is an example of a European Oak. This particularly ancient tree is regarded as the oldest in Lithuania and is estimated to be at least over 1,500 year old.

Similar to the observe, the reverse features a multi-layer print with intermeshed waving blue and gray lines. With the exception pattern is now angled toward the left. Notably the beforementioned number "5" features a double outline and a magnified underprint. Additionally these 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 (1991), followed by the Coat of Arms of Lithuania, and number "5". Which simply symbolizes the notes 5 Talonas value.

First Talons "Coupon" Gallery

(Gallery contains all sub-denomination First Talonas banknotes)

First Talons "Zoo Tickets" Gallery

(Gallery contains all full denomination First Talonas banknotes)


Additional Notes

  • This note dimensions are 120 x 75mm or 4.72 x 2.95 in, shorter and thicker than a 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.

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