Lebanese lira (lira in Lebanese,
or livre in French)
(ISO 4217: "Lebanese lira", LBP) is the
currency unit of Lebanon.
is divided into 100 piastres
has eliminated the subdivisions.
form of lira, as used on the
currency, is either lirat
(ليرات) or the same, whilst
there are four forms for qirsh: the dual qirshan
the plural qirush
(قروش) used with numbers 3-10, the
accusative singular qirsha
(قرشا) used with 11-99, or the
genitive singular qirshi
(قرش) used with multiples of 100.
In both cases, the number determines which plural form is used.
Note that before the Second World
, the Arabic spelling of the subdivision was غرش
). All of Lebanon's coins and banknotes are
bilingual in Arabic and French.
Before World War I
, the Ottoman lira
used. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the currency became the
in 1918. Upon gaining control
of Syria and Lebanon,
the French replaced the
Egyptian pound with a new currency for Syria and Lebanon, the
Syrian pound, which was linked to the
French franc at a value of 1 pound = 20
Lebanon issued its own coins from 1924 and banknotes
from 1925. In 1939, the Lebanese currency was officially separated
from that of Syria, though it was still linked to the French franc
and remained interchangeable with Syrian money. In 1941, following
France's defeat by Nazi Germany
currency was linked instead to the British pound sterling
at a rate of 8.83 Lebanese
pounds = 1 pound sterling . A link to the French franc was restored
after the war but was abandoned in 1949.
Before the war of 1975-1990, 1 U.S.
was worth 3 pounds. According to the central bank's data
, 1 U.S. dollar
has been equal
to 1507.5 pounds for the entire year of 2006.
Lebanon's first coins were issued in 1924 in denominations of 2 and
5 girush (note the different spelling to post WWII
coins) with the French denominations given
in "piastres syriennes" (Syrian piastres). Later issues did not
include the word "syriennes" and were in denominations of ½, 1, 2,
2½, 5, 10, 25 and 50 girsha. During World War II, rather crude ½, 1
and 2½ girsh coins were issued.
After the war, the Arabic spelling was changed from girsh (غرش) to
qirsh (قرش). Coins were issued in the period 1952 to 1986 in
denominations of 1, 2½, 5, 10, 25 and 50 qirsh and 1 lira. No coins
were issued between 1986 and 1996, when the current series of coins
was introduced. Coins in current use are:
- 50 pounds
- 100 pounds
- 250 pounds
- 500 pounds
An obsolete 100 pound note
Lebanon's first banknotes were issued by the Bank of Syria and
Greater Lebanon (Banque du Syrie et Grand-Liban) in 1925.
Denominations ran from 25 girsha through to 100 pounds. In 1939,
the bank's name was changed to the Bank of Syria and Lebanon. The
first 250 pound notes appeared that year. Between 1942 and 1950,
the government issued "small change" paper money in denominations
of 5, 10, 25 and 50 girsh or qirsh (the change in spelling occurred
during these years). After 1945, the Bank of Syria and Lebanon
continued to issue paper money for Lebanon but the notes were
denominated specifically in "Lebanese pounds" (ليرة لبنانية, livres
libanaise) to distinguish them from Syrian notes. Notes for 1, 5,
10, 25, 50 and 100 pounds were issued. In 1964, the Bank of Lebanon
took over banknote production. Their notes are denominated in
pounds. A 250 pound note reappeared in 1978, followed by higher
denominations in the 1980s and 1990s as inflation drastically
reduced the currency's value. Banknotes
current use are:
All current notes feature an Arabic side with the value in Arabic
script numerals of large size. The other side is in French with the
serial number in both Arabic and Latin script and in bar code below
the latter one.