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Malta

The Republic of Malta is an island country in the Southern European, lying south of Italy, north of Libya, and east of Tunisia. Although it’s the tenth smallest country, it is listed as the fourth most populated sovereign country. Strategically located in the center of the Mediterranean, Malta has been a preferred naval base for Romans, Greek, Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Arabs, Aragonese, Normans, French, and British. 

Malta’s economy plays well with 32 other advanced countries, focusing on foreign trade and manufacturing. Its scenic location has also drawn film producers and tourists that contributed to the country’s economic growth. Before Malta became a “Euro zone”, it used the Maltese lira as its national currency from 1972 until 2007. Prior to the lira, the country’s monetary unit was the pound sterling. Due to coin shortage following World War I, banknotes were introduced in August 1914 but were replaced with British notes. From its 1949 issues, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II appears on Maltese banknotes, even on the first notes issued by the Central Bank of Malta in 1967. 

In 1972, Malta decimalized its currency, introducing the lira at par with the pound. The family of notes bears Maltese text on the obverse while English on the reverse. The notes were watermarked with the head of an allegorical woman surmounted by a fortress which is a representation of the dauntless spirit of Malta. 

In 1979, a set of notes were issued to commemorate the country’s Freedom Day or the day that the British Forces finally left the archipelago. 

On March 17, 1986, another set of notes was released by the Central Bank, featuring the third president of Malta, Agatha Barbara, a spiral motif from a neolithic temple in Tarxien, and a sailing ship that represents the traditional shipbuilding history. The notes also highlight traditional or commercial activities, architecture, and seal of the Republic. 

On September 18, 1989, the bank released another family of notes to commemorate the 25th year of the country’s independence. The notes depict a statue of a woman holding a ruder which is an epitome of Malta’s control over her own destiny. The notes also carry doves that signifies peace, the seal of the United Nations, the bank logo, and mosaic designs.

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