The Lithuanian litas was the official currency of Lithuania from 1922 to 2015. The official currency symbol: Lt / ct. The first Lithuanian litas was introduced in 1922 after World War I, replacing the ostmark and ostruble issued by German forces. The Bank of Lithuania issued notes in denominations of 1 centas, 2 centu, 5 centai, 10, 20, 50-centų, and 1 litas, 2 litu, 5 litai, 10, 50, 100 litų, followed by 500 and 1000 litų in 1924. In 1925, all denominations below 5 litai were replaced by coins.
In March 1939, Nazi Germany demanded the immediate abandonment of the Klaipėda region (also known as the Memel Territory) to Lithuania, separated from Germany after the First World War. Demand that was obeyed by the Lithuanian government, which evicted the area, the same month as the German demand. In the same way, the Reichsmark replaced the litas as the official currency of the region, and the inhabitants of Memelgebiet were given a deadline to exchange litas for Reichsmarks until May 20, 1939. A few years later, the rest of the Lithuanian territory was annexed to the Soviet Union, which led to the replacement of the litas by the Soviet ruble in 1941.
The litas was introduced again after Lithuania declared independence in 1993. Banknotes dated in 1991 were introduced in denominations of 1 litas, 2, 5 litai, 10, 20, 50, 100 litų. However, these were discovered to be easily reproduced, prompting the introduction of the second set of notes in denominations of 1 litas, 2, 5 litai, 10, 20, 50 litų, only the 100 litų notes of the first series remaining in circulation. The 200 litų were issued in 1997, followed by 500 litų in 2000.
With the introduction of the euro in the states of the European Union in 2002, it was expected that the replacement of the litas would take place in 2007, a fact that did not happen due to high inflation and the country’s economic crisis, which delayed the introduction the euro until 2015.
The 500 Lithuanian litų note front design features the portrait of Vincas Kudirka (1858 – 1899), Lithuanian poet and physician, credited with authorship of the music and lyrics of the Lithuanian National Anthem, Tautiška giesmė. He is considered a national hero. The design is completed with the National Coat of Arms.
The reverse of the note illustrates a view of the Nemunas River, followed by the Lithuanian Liberty Bell, which contains the engraved National Coat of Arms. The lettering of the note is presented in the Lithuanian language. This note is part of the 1997 – 2000 series, and its color is brown and rose on a multicolor underprint.