The lev is the official currency of Bulgaria. The official currency symbol: лв. The term “lev” meant “lion” in old Bulgarian; the contemporary word for “lion” is luv. The name “stotinka” is derived from the word “sto”, which means “a hundred.” Four lev have been introduced in Bulgaria, the first was adopted in 1881, and the last, in current use, was adopted in 1999. During the adoption of the latter lev, and after a redenomination process, banknotes were introduced in the denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 leva, followed by the 100 leva notes in 2003. The 1 and 2 lev notes were eventually phased out of circulation and replaced with coins of comparable value.
The 5 Bulgaria leva note front design features the portrait of Ivan Milev Lalev (1897–1927), a Bulgarian painter and scenographer, who was the originator of the Bulgarian Secession a representative of Bulgarian modernism, mixing symbolism, Art Nouveau, and expressionism in his work. The portrait is presented against a background with a work of art by Lalev.
The reverse of the note presents painting fragments by Lalev; “A Woman Harvesting,” “The Bulgarian Madonna,” and “Wedding of the Dragon.” The lettering of the note is presented in the Bulgarian language. This note is part of the 1999 – 2020 series, and its color is red, brown and green on a multicolor underprint.
Text: 5, ПЕТ ЛЕВА, Иван Милев 1897-1927, ИВАНЬ MWAE Въ25, УПРАВИТЕЛ, ГЛАВЕН КАСИЕР, За подправка Bunobaume ce nalazbam съгласно закона, ПЕТ ЛЕВА, БЪЛГАРСКА НАРОДНА БАНКА, 5, ПЕТ ЛЕВА.