1MTP=100 cents1Cent=10 mils
The history of the Maltese Pound.
In 1855 the British Pound was declared the only legal tender on Malta. Prior to this coins of the English, French, Spanish, Sicilian dollars and coins of the Knights of the Order of Malta circulated alongside. In spite of this declaration commerce and banking still continued to use gold and silver coins of the Order of Malta and Sicily. The foreign coins were finally removed from circulation in 1885 following a decree by the Italian government, which left only sterling coins circulating on the island for nearly a century until 1972. Although using British coinage, Malta did not decimalize its currency system in 1971 like Britain, Malta finally decimalized in 1972 with the Pound being divisible by 1000 mils, or 100 cents.
Although Malta’s currency was the Pound sterling, local official notes were issued denominated in pounds starting in 1914 due to concern over the first world war, this first series of notes was short lived being replaced by British treasury notes again in 1915 which circulated until 1949. In 1949 Malta established a currency board and again began to issue notes, the Maltese pound was still pegged to the pound sterling and this parity was observed until the late 1970’s. In 1968 the newly formed Central Bank of Malta took over the functions of the currency board and began to issue the national currency. The name Lira, Maltese for pound was not used on banknotes until 1973 and on coins until 1986.
The ISO 4217 code for the Maltese Pound is MTL, locally prices are expressed using the pound sign or ML precedes the amount, i.e. ML5,00. Maltese coins currently come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 Lira, and banknotes are issued in denominations of 2, 5, 10 and 20 Lira. The Maltese Pound is the second most valuable currency in the world, Kuwait being ranked at number one.
In 2008 Malta plans to adopt the euro as its national currency although it must meet strict fiscal standards during this time to do so.
Leaflets from the Central Bank of Malta on Maltese banknotes.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.
Description of notes which have ceased to be legal tender and the date they will no longer be exchangable.
Added 21 June 2006
Amendments to the Fifth Series of Currency Notes
Added 21 June 2006