A quarter of a century of the Croatian kuna

27.5.2019.

Postage stamp marks the 25th anniversary of introducing the kuna

Zagreb, 27 May 2019 – On 30 May, Croatian Post will put a commemorative postage stamp into circulation, marking the 25th anniversary of introducing the kuna. The stamps with a face value of HRK 3.10 depict a HRK 1.00 coin. 200,000 of the postage stamps have been printed. This postage stamp edition was designed by Dean Roksandić, a designer from Zagreb, who modified a photograph by Božidar Bengez. This stamp has been issued in a symbolic Croatian 25-stamp sheet and with five labels and Croatian Post has issued a First Day Cover (FDC).
On Statehood Day, 30 May 1994, kuna and lipa banknotes and coins became the legal means of payment in the Republic of Croatia. It was a symbol of statehood and sovereignty that was put in circulation by the National Bank of Croatia.
The permanent Croatian currency was named the kuna due to the historical role of the marten ("kuna") pelt in Croatian monetary and fiscal history, while the name lipa ("linden tree") was chosen as the name for the monetary unit smaller than the kuna. The name lipa also has its roots in Croatian folklore, literary and historical heritage. Marten pelts were initially used as a means of payment in kind and then as a unit of account. It is interesting that in the Middle Ages, it was used for paying a tax called "kunovina" or "marturina" (from the Latin word martur and the Croatian word kuna, marten) in Slavonia, the Croatian Littoral and Dalmatia. The image of the marten had been depicted on Croatian minted money called "banovac" since the first half of the 13th century.
The idea of making the kuna a currency in the modern sense was based on the decision of 16 August 1991 by the president of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, when the Commission for Drafting a Proposal for a Monetary System Concept and the Manufacturing of the Republic of Croatia Banknotes was formed. The Commission chose the design of kuna and lipa in coins, created by the academic sculptor Kuzma Kovačić and the design of banknotes by the academic painter and graphic artist Miroslav Šutej and Professor Vilko Žiljak, an expert in computer graphics. On 29 July 1993, the House of Representatives of the Croatian Parliament issued a decision declaring the Croatian kuna, divided into one hundred lipas, the monetary unit of the Republic of Croatia.