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Dictionary of the Coins of the World [L]

This is an ongoing work (one of those never-ending projects) consisting of a compilation of all known names used for coins from the ancient times to the present. Where possible, a description of coins of that name is given, as well as the most likely origin of the name, including translations. In many cases, links are made to pages which will show various examples of that denomination. Obviously, the images not all-inclusive but hopefully will give the user an idea of what some of the coin denominations looked like and how coins of the same name differ from country to country and through time.



Lari - Variant form of larin.

Lariat - [Maldive Islands]

Larin - Plural lari, laris. The name given to a piece of silver wire doubled over and sometimes twisted into the form of a fishhook. It was formerly used as money in parts of Asia. Now, an aluminum coin and monetary unit of the Maldives, the 100th part of a rupee. Also laree.

{From Persian l~r, from l~r, name of a territory on the north of the Persian Gulf.}

[Maldive Islands]

Laree - Variant form of larin.

Lat - Plural lat, lats. A former silver coin of Latvia, equal to 100 santini. Basic monetary unit in Latvia from 1922 to 1940.

{1920-1925: From Latvian lats, equivalent to Lat(vija) Latvia + s nominative singular noun ending.}

Lati - Plural of lat.

Lats - Plural of lat.

Laurel - One of the English gold pieces, especially those worth 20 shillings, first coined in 1619 on which the monarchs head is laureate.

{From the laureated head of the monarch on the obverse.}


Leal - A silver coin of Edward (1433-1438) and Alfonso V (1438-1481) of Portugal with a crowned letter E or A as the obverse type.


Leeuwendaalder - A silver coin of the Netherlands, issued from 1576 to the close of the 17th Century.

{From Dutch leeuwen lion + daalder dollar lion dollar; from the lion portrayed on it}


Lei - Plural of leu.

Leichter Pfennig - (or kreuzer) A subsidiary coin struck from 1753 to 1837 on the 24-gulden standard as distinguished from the "good" pieces coined at the 20-gulden standard.

{From German leicht light + pfennig pfennig.}

[German States]

Lek - An aluminum coin and monetary unit of Albania, equal to 100 qintars. It was valued at 1/5 franc from 1947 on.

{1925-1930: From Albanian lek.}


Leke - [Albania]

Leku - [Albania]

Lemocia - A billion coin of the Vicomtes de Limoges that was copied from the barbarin of Saint Martial. Guido VI, Vicomte of Limoges (1230-1263) substituted his own portrait on the coinage, but the pieces were rejected and the regular Bretagne type was restored. See blanchet.

{It takes its name from Lemovicas, the medieval name of Limoges}

Lemona - Variant name of the lemocia.

Lempira - A paper money and monetary unit of Honduras, equal to 100 centavos. Abbr. L.

{1930-1935: From American Spanish Lempira Indian Chief.}


Leone - A paper money, cupronickel or silver coin, and monetary unit of Sierra Leone, equal to 100 cents.

{1960-1965: (Sierra) Leone.}

[Italian States, Sierra Leone]

Leopard - A gold coin, having on the obverse a lion passant guardant, struck by Edward III (c1344) and by the Black Prince, for circulation in France. It had the value of 2 florin or 3 shillings. In the proclamation authorizing its issue, it is called 'a gold coin with one leopard', and is stated to be of the value of a florin of Florence. A coin called leopardus auri is mentioned in a monastic document of Bordeaux dated by Du Cange as 1305; but this date may be in error.

It was also the name of a silver anglo-gallic coin issued by Henry V.

{Named for the leopard on the obverse.}


Leopold d'or - [French States]

Lepta - Plural of lepton.


Lepton - An ancient Greek coin, also known as the Widow's mite of the New Testament. The smallest coin of modern Greece, being the one-hundredth part of a drachma.

{From Greek [ ] lepton small as in lepton nomisma, a small coin.}

[Greece, Judaea-Ancient]

Leu - A coin and monetary unit of Romania, equal to 100 bani. Abbr. L. Also ley.

{1875-1880: From Rumanian lion, ultimately from Latin leo. A designation based on the Turkish arslanli (arslan lion + li adjective suffix) a name given to the Dutch rijksdaalder, which circulated in the later Ottoman Empire and bore the image of a lion.}


Lev - Plural leva. A copper coin and monetary unit of Bulgaria equal to 100 stotinki. Abbr L, Lv.

{1900-1905: From Bulgarian lev lion, from Old Church Slavic livu lion, probably from Old High German lewo originally from Greek leon ontos. See leu.}


Leva - Plural of lev.

Levant Dollar - Also levant dollar. A silver coin, either a Maria Theresa thaler or an imitation of one, formerly used for trade with Abyssinia, Eritrea, Aden etc. The imitations bear the date 1780 regardless of the year of minting.

Levant Thaler - Variant name of the levant dollar.

Ley - Variant form of leu.


Liang - Plural liang, liangs. A Chinese unit of weight, equal to 1/16 catty, and equivalent to 1 1/3 ounce (37 grams). Also called tael, haikwan tael.

{1820-1830: From Chinese liang.}


Liard - Originally a French silver coin worth 3 deniers (1/4 sou or sol), first struck in 1439. From the 17th century onward it was struck in copper, and became the chief subsidiary denomination of the Austrian Netherlands and its various enclaves (including Luxembourg and Liege). At various times and places it was quoted as 2 or 4 deniers instead of 3, but the latter figure was most common. The copper liard generally weighed about 3 grams and was 21 to 24 millimeters in diameter. The liard coinage disappeared with the French Revolution.

{From Middle French after Guigues Liard, the Frenchman who first coined the piece.}

[Artois, Avignon, Belgium, France, French States, German States, Luxembourg, Namur, Reckheim]

Libra - Plural libras. Variant name for the sol in Peru,

{From Spanish libra from Latin libra pound.}



Likin - Formerly in China, a provicial duty imposed on articles of trade that are in transit.

{From earlier or dialectic Chinese from Chinese lijin (li 0.001 ounce + jin money.}


Likuta - Plural makuta. A paper money, aluminum coin, and monetary unit of Zaire, equal to the 100th part of a zaire.

[Congo (Zaire)]

Lilangeni - A cupronickel coin, paper money, and monetary unit of Swaziland, equal to 100 cents.


Lily Groschen - Stassburg groschen with a lily design.

[German States-Strassburg]

Lion - A gold coin of Scotland, struck under Robert III (1390-1406) until Mary (1542-1567). It was equal to 44 shillings. The obverse had a lion on a crowned shield, and the reverse portrayed Saint Andrew.

From the reign of James IV, the designation lion was apparently superseded by Scottis croun or croun of wecht.

A coin of billion or copper first issued in 1555 havin a crowned lion rampant on the reverse, originally valued at three-halfpence. Also known as the hardhede.

Lyoun nobill, later lyoun pece, designations of a gold coin of James VI, issued from 1584-1588 and originally valued at 75 shillings, having a crowned lion sejant on the overse (1584 Chchran-Patrick Coinage I. 164-5) [that thare be strikyn ane new penny of golde callit a lyone with the prent of the lyon on the ta side & the ymage of Sanct Andro on the tother side with a side cote ewin to his fute haldand the sammyn wecht of the half Inglis nobil and that the said nw lyon sall ryn for vj s viij d of the said new mone; and the half lyon [accordingly]]

{From the lion on the obverse.}


Lion d'or - A gold coin of the Brabant, struck under Antony of Burgundy (1406-1415) showing a shield supported by lions on the obverse with a cross on the reverse. It was also struck by Philip the Good (1430-1467) showing a lion seated on a dais.

{From lion + d'or of gold.}


Lion Noble - A gold noble of Scotland, under James VI (1567-1625) having on the obverse a lion holding a sword and scepter. The reverse has a cross of four IR's.

{From the lion on the obverse.}


Lira - The Italian pound, equivalent to 20 soldi. From Carolingian times until the Napoleonic period the lira was rarely coined, but merely served as a money of account. At the beginning of the 19th century, however, it was divided into 100 centesimi in North Italy and thenceforth was struck with considerable frequency, together with its fractions and multiples.

In Austrian Italy, the speciethaler was valued at 6 lire, making the 20-kreuzer piece worth exactly 1 lira.

{From Italian lira from Latin libra pound.}

[Israel, Italy, San Marino, Syria, Turkey, Vatican City]

Lire - Plural of lira.

Lirot - [Israel]

Lis d'or - [France]

Lisente - Plural of senti.

Lit - Variant name of litas.

Litai - Plural form of litas.

Litas - Plural litai, litu. A former silver coin and monetary unit of Lithuania, equal to 100 centai. Also lit.

{From Lithuanian.}





Livre - Former French unit equal to a pound during the reign of Charlemagne. livre tournois the livre of Tours that from 1667 until replaced by the franc coin 1795 was the only legal French livre. It consisted of 20 sols or sous each of 12 deniers.

{From French livre from Latin libra pound.}

[Artois, France, Guadeloupe, Lebanon]

Loeser - Name given to large German multiple thalers.

[German States]

Lot - German unit of weight equal to 1/2 ounce or 1/32 of the German pound. Used in conjunction with the mark (1/2 pound) to describe fineness of German silver coins from the earliest times until the zollpfund was adopted in 1857. Thus a coin "15 loetige fine" was 15/16 fine (16 lot in the mark).

Loti - Plural maloti. A cupronickel coin, paper money and monetary unit of Lesotho, equal to 100 lisente.


Louis d'or - A gold coin of France, struck under Louis XIII (1610-1643) until Louis XVI (1774-1793). It had on the obverse the head of the monarch, Louis.

{From French Louis Louis + d'or of gold.}



Luigini - Plural of luigino.

Luigino - [Avignon, Italian States]

Lwei - Plural lwei, lweis. A monetary unit of Angola, the 100th part of a kwanza.


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