Updated: Dec 16, 2021
This Slovenian banknote specimen represents the 4th denomination of the Tolar (Series 1990). Despite their relatively simple design. Early Tolar notes have a rich and complex history. Beginning with initial calls for democratization and independence from Yugoslavia. Due in part to a rapidly changing world, in Eastern Europe. (SEE: A Brief History of the Tolar).
Slovenia established the Tolar on 8 October 1991, after the brief and relatively bloodless Ten-Day War. Which was a surprisingly quick conflict, fought from 27 June-7 July 1991. Initial notes were simple, printed domestically by CDDC (Celje).
These early Tolar notes were demonetized, on 30 June 1993. Replaced by the colorful Series 1992 and it's later successors. Which remained in circulation until the adoption of the Euro, on 1 January 2007.
The observe depicts Mount Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia. The mountain was chosen due to it representing the center of Slovene folk culture and literature. Strangely this image is based on a photo, rather than an illustration. Which is made fairly obvious by its seamlessly blended edges.
Overprinted diagonally above the main art is the text "VZOREC", in red-ink. This simply translates to "sample", informing the bearer this is specimen note. A keen eye will also notice microprint patterns on the main art. In the forms waving vertical lines, with horizontal lines along the mountain's surface.
Framing this main art area is a frame with various basic guilloché decorations. The header simply lists the note's nation, the "REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA" (Republic of Slovenia). Reinforcing Slovenia as an independent nation, in accordance with a 7 March 1990 Slovenian Assembly decision.
The footer is a waving banner, that ends in a diagonal frame. The separates part of the main art area, forming a partition. Inside this partition is the word "PETDESET", translated as one. This word will vary based on denomination. As will the the number "50" on the lower left and upper right.
To the far right is the note's watermark area. It's most prominent element being the before mentioned number "50". Which is rests on a colored background and is surrounded by a guilloché decorated frame. Below is a vertical serial number "AH 90562770", "AH" represents the printing batch.
The watermark area is particularly interesting, as it's mostly ornamental. Similar to many post-Soviet note, the watermark is repeated across the note's surface. Rather than being confined to the watermark area. Backlighting the note will reveal a number of "cross hair" watermarks. The unprinted "watermark area" simply makes identifying them easier.
The reverse features the note's "50" (Tolar) face value, on a pair of decorative rings. The sides are decorated by guilloché coils, that end at the top and bottom of an upward-facing ring. The reverse main art area is covered by a "honeycomb" underprint. Notably the underprint lightens at the center. Just as observe, the header, simply lists the "REPUBLIKA SLOVENIJA" (Republic of Slovenia).
At the far left, is the note's watermark area. The note's "50" (Tolar) value is repeated at the upper left corner. It rests on a decorative backing, created by 3 overlapping designs. The first design is formed by 4 overlapping oval shapes. The second a square, formed by a continuous "zig-zag". While the final layer is formed by 7 tightly packed "diamond" patterns.
At the lower left corner is the Prince's Stone. An ancient Roman column, in which the Dukes of Carantania were initiated. Above this column is text, representing the "SEKRETAR ZA FINANCE" (Secretary of Finance). Who's signature is overprinted on the column's base.
There is some additional text positioned vertically along the main art area. It reads "PONAREJANJE SE KAZNUJE POZAKONU'. This text simply translates to "forgery is punishable by law". Strangely this warning's use of fine text and awkward positioning makes it difficult to read.
A Brief History of the Tolar
The history of the Tolar and other post Yugoslav currencies. Has it's origin with the death of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980). Also known as Marshal Tito, was the founder of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (1945–1963). First gaining recognition as the leader of the Yugoslav Partisans, during WWII (1939-1945).
From 1941-1945, Tito built the multi-ethic Yugoslav Partisans from a guerrilla force into an army. Tito used his charisma and expert military leadership, to unify Yugoslavia. Being known for his bold leadership, which included publicly denouncing Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in 1948.
Tito's leadership was pragmatic, avoiding the some of the domestic criticism faced by other socialist states. Through the establishment of worker, rather than state-controlled industries. Providing Yugoslav citizens a higher standard of living, than the Soviets.
In response to a series of political uprising in Croatia, known as the Croatian Spring (1967-1971). Concessions were made to allow greater autonomy to Yugoslavia's individual republics. Although dissatisfaction with these reforms, later played a role in Yugoslavia's dissolution.
On 4 May 1980, the 87 year old Tito died of complications during surgery. With the absence of Tito's authority. Yugoslavia's various ethnic groups began demanding greater autonomy. Eventually leading to a series of independence wars/ethic conflicts, known as the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001).
The first war being the desetdnevna vojna (trans. Ten-Day War) or Slovenian Independence War. The (Slovenian) Territorial Force quickly repelled the Yugoslav People's Army. This swift decisive victory allowed Slovenia successfully avoided the mass destruction. As suffered by Yugoslavia's other break-away republics, such as Bosnia and Croatia.
This stability allowed Slovenia to establish its own currency within months of independence. Replacing the Convertible Yugoslavian Dinar (1990-19992), at 1:1 parity. Which greatly aided in it's adoption, by essentially replacing "old notes" for an equal amounts of "new notes".
Tolar Gallery (Series 1990)
(Gallery includes specimens of all commonly issued early Tolar)
This notes dimension are 150 x 73 mm or 5.90 x 2.87 in, shorter and wider than a US Dollar.
All denomination of the Series 1990 Tolar are color-coded copies, of the same basic design.
Specimen notes are special banknotes issued to Central Banks to familiarize their staff.
Specimen notes are not circulating currency, but samples designed for educational purposes.
The name Tolar is a Slavic variation of the Germanic Thaler, a type of silver trade coin.