|System||1 Lek = 100 Qindarka|
The Lek (Albanian: Leku Shqiptar; plural lekë) (sign: L; code: ALL) is the official currency of Albania. It is subdivided into 100 qindarka (singular qindarkë), although qindarka are no longer issued.
|Period||1926 - 1965|
In 1926, bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 5 and 10 qindar leku, together with nickel 1⁄4, 1⁄2 and 1 lek, and silver 1, 2 and 5 franga ar. The obverse of the franga coins depict Amet Zogu. In 1935, bronze 1 and 2 qindar ar were issued, equal in value to the 5 and 10 qindar leku. This coin series depicted distinct neoclassical motifs, said to have been influenced by the Italian king Victor Emmanuel III who was known to have been a coin collector. These coins depict the mint marks "R" or "V" indicating Rome or Venice.
Under the direction of Benito Mussolini, Italy invaded and occupied Albania and issued a new series of coins in 1939 in denominations 0.20, 0.50, and 1 lek in stainless steel, and silver 2, 5, and 10 lek were introduced, with the silver coins only issued that year. Aluminium-bronze 0.05 and 0.10 lek were then introduced in 1940. These coins were issued until 1941 and bear the portrait of Italian King Victor Emmanuel III on the obverse and the Italian eagle and fasces on the reverse.
In 1947, shortly after the communist party took power, older coins were withdrawn from circulation and a new coinage was introduced, consisting of zinc 1⁄2, 1, 2 and 5 lekë. These all depicted the socialist national crest. This coinage was again minted in 1957 and used until the currency reform of 1965.
|Period||1965 - 1996|
In 1965, aluminium coins (dated 1964) were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 qindar and 1 lek. All coins depict the socialist state emblem.
In 1969, a second series of aluminum 5, 10, 20, 50 qindar and 1 lek coins was released commemorating the 1944 liberation from fascism. The three smallest denominations remained similar in design to the 1964 series but depicted "1944-1969" on the obverse. The 50 qindarka and lek coins depicted patriotic and military images.
In 1988, a third redesign of aluminum 5, 10, 20, 50 qindarka and 1 lek coins was released. The 50 qindarka and 1 lek coins were problematically identical in size, weight, and appearance so aluminum-bronze 1 lek coins with the inscription "Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipërisë" were released later that year for better identification. In 1989, a cupro nickel 2 leke coin was introduced. All three of these coin series remained in circulation during and shortly after the 1991 revolution.
|Period||1995 - present|
In 1995 and 1996, new coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lekë, with a bimetallic 100 lekë added in 2000.
In 2001, 100 and 200 Leke were issued under the theme of Albania's integration into the EU and 50, 100, and 200 Leke under the 500th anniversary of the Statue of David. In 2002, 50 Leke and 100 Leke were issued for the 90th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania and 20 Leke under the Albanian Antiquity theme. In 2003, 50 Leke was issued in memory of the 100th anniversary of the death of Jeronim De Rada. In 2004, 50 Leke was issued under the Albanian Antiquty theme depicting traditional costumes of Albania and the ancient Dea. In 2005, 50 Leke were issued for the 85th anniversary of the proclamation of Tirana as capital and the theme of traditional costumes of Albania.