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Forint, the Hungarian currency - Study In Hungary
July 31, 2023 11:40
Forint, the Hungarian currency

Whether you've just arrived in Hungary or you've been living and studying in a Hungarian city for a while, you probably know all about the Hungarian currency,  and how it's used in daily life.  As the 1st of August is a celebration of the Hungarian forint we brought you some interesting facts about the Hungarian currency.

What are we celebrating on 1st  August?

Forint was reintroduced on 1st August 1946, with a theoretical exchange rate of 1 forint to 4×1029 pengő, effectively dropping 29 zeroes from the old currency.

Why forint?

Given the shared history of Hungary and the forint, it is understandable why the forint eventually became the official currency of the country.

The forint was one of the most famous gold coins of the Middle Ages. The word “forint” originates from the name of the city of Florence, where the gold coin was called “fiorino d’oro” and was first used in the early 14th century. Charles I of Hungary was the first monarch in Europe to introduce this gold-based currency in his country in 1325. Later, the forint was also used in the Austro-Hungarian Empire but after the reconciliation, the official currency became the korona ("crown") that, after the First World War, followed the pengő.

The symbols of Forint

Banknotes now come in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 and 20,000. All of them are watermarked, contain an embedded vertical security strip of thin metal and are designed to be suitable for visually impaired individuals.

The fronts of the banknotes portray prominent figures of Hungarian history; on the back-sides historical places related to the people on the front are pictured.

For example on the banknote of 5 000 Forint, you can find István Széchenyi, a Hungarian politician, writer and economist from the 19th Century known about the construction of the Chain Bridge and the establishment of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. On the other side of the banknote, there is the home of the Széchenyi family, the classicist-style Széchenyi Castle in Nagycenk.

Six different coins are in use: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 forint. The coins contain symbols of Hungary (Chain Bridge - 200 Forint, the coat of arms of Hungary - 10 and 100 Forint) and great Hungarian indigenous animals and plants (Great egret - 5 Forint, Steppe iris - 20 Forint, Saker falcon - 50  Forint).

As you can see the Hungarian banknotes and coins from your pocket can tell a lot about the country's history and its most important symbols and characters. If we caught your attention we recommend you a Hungarian Money Museum where you can learn about the history, operation, and cultural and economic significance of money in many ways.

We also recommend you our calculator which can help estimate your costs of living in Hungary.


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DailyNewsHungary: Unique Symbols of Hungarian Forint Banknotes

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