The Republic of North Macedonia is a landlocked Southeast European country. It is surrounded by Albania to the west, Greece to the south, Bulgaria to the east, and Kosovo and Serbia to the north. North Macedonia was once known as Macedonia but because of naming disputes with Greek Macedonia, North Macedonia changed its name. North Macedonia was once part of Yugoslavia. It gained independence in 1991 after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia, is the largest city. It is also home to a quarter of the country’s population. North Macedonia is an upper-middle income country. Most of its economy is dependent on construction, agriculture, and industrial sectors as well as wholesale and retail trade.

North Macedonia uses the Macedonian denar as its currency. One denar is equivalent to 100 deni. The name “denar” comes from the ancient Roman currency “denarius”. Petar Illevski, an academician, is often credited for naming the Macedonian currency. The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia (Narodna Banka na Republika Makedoniya) is in charge of issuing banknotes since its establishment on 26 April, 1992.

The first series of Macedonian notes were issued in 1992 but were demonetized a year later because of inflation and low paper quality. To address these issues, the National Bank printed new notes based on Biljana Unkovska’s designs. These notes had higher quality paper with multi-tonal watermarks and solid security threads. The bank also revalued the denar at a rate of one new denar = 100 old denar. Each note featured two landmarks from the same city or town. Additionally, the front sides were horizontally-oriented while the back sides were vertically oriented. In 2003, the 500 and 1,000 denar notes had their security features upgraded to include a gold foil patch and a holographic patch respectively. Thirteen years later in 2016, the 200 and 2,000 denar notes were introduced and the 5,000 denar note was withdrawn from circulation. Two years later, the bank started issuing 10 and 50 denar notes that were printed on a polymer substrate.

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