Understanding the currency of a country can open your eyes to its culture, history, and economy. Although Poland is a part of the European Union, the country has its own currency, the “zloty” (plural: zlote). The Polish zloty is minted by the National Bank of Poland. Its currency code is “PLN,” and 1 zloty is made up of 100 “groszy” (singular: grosz).
The zloty comes in the following denominations:
- 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 groszy
- 1, 2, and 5 zlote
- 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 zlote
To see the current zloty–to–U.S. dollar exchange rate, check out today’s rate with Remitly. Below are recent rates:
- 1 zloty = .23 USD
- 1 zloty = .21 EUR
- 1 zloty = .18 GBP
5 Facts About the Polish Zloty
Here are some interesting facts that will give you more context about Polish history and culture.
1. Etymology of Polish Currency
Unsurprisingly, zloty is a Polish word meaning “golden,” and it is the masculine version of the adjective. The currency took its name from the gold coins that were used centuries ago. “Grosz,” however, is not a Polish word; it actually comes from the German word “groschen,” which means “pennies.”
2. Who is featured on the Polish zlote?
All of the figures on the Polish banknotes are Polish royalty who have an important place in history.
- 10 zł: Mieszko I (c. 930–992), a duke who is considered the first historical ruler of Poland.
- 20 zł: Boleslaus I the Brave (c. 966–1025), the son of Mieszko I and the first king of Poland. King Boleslaus set Poland up to be a major European power.
- 50 zł: Casimir the Great (1310–1370), a king of Poland who is best known for being a peaceful and skillful ruler.
- 100 zł: Władysław II Jagiełło (c. 1351–1434), initially the Grand Duke of Lithuania who later became king of Poland, ruling both countries.
- 200 zł: Sigismund I the Old (1467–1548), another king of Poland who was known for his religious tolerance.
- 500 zł: John III Sobieski (1629–1696), a king of Poland and a soldier who restored the Poland-Lithuania kingdom and protected Poland from the Ottoman Turks.
3. Imagery on the Grosz
All grosz and zloty coins have the phrase “Rzeczpospolita Polska,” meaning “The Republic of Poland” in Polish. They also all have the crowned white eagle, which is considered the emblem of the Polish Republic and is on Poland’s coat of arms. The eagle has been a symbol of Poland for centuries and is said to have been a good omen by the founder of Poland, according to legend.
4. Commemorative Banknotes
Poland has produced about a dozen commemorative banknotes to celebrate specific people and events that embrace Polish history and culture. The first time Poland printed these kinds of banknotes was in 2006 for Pope John Paul II. Even though they are considered collector’s items, they are legal tender and can be used like any other banknote.
Here are a few of the moments Poland has celebrated on various zlote:
- The first collector banknote – Pope John Paul II
- The “independence” banknote
- 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin
- 100th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Marie Skłodowska-Curie
- 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw
5. The Most Expensive Polish Coin
In 2018, a Polish coin from 1621 was sold for $2,160,000 in a New York City auction. It was a commemorative coin that was made to celebrate the Battle of Chocim. In this grand battle, Poland had a victory over the Turks. The coin’s high value is due to its being “struck from gold, historically important, rare, well designed, and at nearly 70 millimeters in diameter and weighing almost 350 grams … physically impressive,” according to a Coin World article about the auction.
How Polish Currency Has Changed Over Time
The zloty has roots in the Middle Ages: 1528 to be exact; however, there have been many changes since then. The use of the name “zloty” did not come back until 1924. Poland continued to use this currency throughout World War II and while being occupied by the Soviet Union. In 1950, a new series of zlote were produced under the currency code “PLZ.” This version of the zloty is no longer considered legal tender. Finally, the zloty that we know today was introduced in 1995 with the currency code “PLN,” which is still used.
Sending Money to Poland
You can send money to Poland with Remitly. New customers may be eligible for a special offer on their first transfer.
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If you enjoyed reading about Polish currency and want to learn more about exchanging zloty or other kinds of international money, you can check out the following articles: