The kip (Lao: ກີບ; code: LAK; sign: ₭ or ₭N; Official Name: ເງີນກີບລາວ, lit. "Currency Lao Kip") is the currency of Laos since 1952. One kip is divided into 100 att (ອັດ).
Free Lao Kip
In 1945-1946, the Free Kip government in Vientiane issued a series of paper money in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 att and 10 kip before the French authorities took control of the region.
The kip was reintroduced in 1952, replacing the French Indochinese piastre at par. The kip (also called a piastre in French) was sub-divided into 100 att (Lao: ອັດ) or cents (French: Centimes).
Coins were issued in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 att or cents with French and Lao inscriptions. All were struck in aluminium and had a hole in the centre, like the Chinese cash coins. The only year of issue was 1952.
In 1957, the government issued notes denominated solely in kip. The notes were for 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 kip. In 1963, 200 and 1000 kip notes were added, followed by 5000 kip notes in 1975. All banknotes were printed in France.
Pathet Lao kip
The Pathet Lao kip was introduced some time before 1976 in the areas which were under the control of the Pathet Lao. Banknote denominations of 1, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 kip were issued. The notes were printed in China.
In 1976, the Pathet Lao kip replaced the Royal kip throughout Laos following the Pathet Lao's take over of the country. The exchange rate between the two kip was 1 Pathet Lao kip = 20 royal kip.
Lao PDR kip
In 1979, a currency reform took place, replacing 100 old (Pathet Lao) kip by one new kip.
Coins were issued dated 1980 in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 att, followed by commemorative 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 kip in 1985 for the 10 years of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. However, due to chronic inflation there are no coins currently in circulation in Laos.
In 1979, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 kip. 500 kip notes were added in 1988, followed by 1000 kip in 1992, 2000 and 5000 kip in 1997, 10,000 and 20,000 kip in 2002 and 50,000 kip on January 17, 2006 (although dated 2004).
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