What Was the Slovenian Tolar (SIT)?

SIT was the currency abbreviation for the Slovenian tolar, which was the official currency of Slovenia from October 1991 until December 2006. Slovenia joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004 and a few years later, in January 2007, the country adopted the common euro (EUR) currency as legal tender.

Key Takeaways

  • The Slovenian Tolar (SIT) was the national currency of Slovenia from its independence in 1991 through 2006.
  • In 2007, Slovenia switched over to the common euro currency as part of its responsibilities as a member of the European Union.
  • While tolarji are no longer exchanged in circulation, old banknotes can be redeemed for euros at the Bank of Slovenia.

Understanding the Slovenian Tolar

One Slovenian tolar was made up of 100 stotini. Different words were used to refer to varying amounts of the currency. For example 2 SIT were called 2 "tolarja"; 3 or 4 SIT were called 3 or 4 "tolarji"; "tolarjev" referred to 5 SIT or more.

After Slovenia declared independence in 1991 from the Yugoslavia (at the time a protectorate of the Soviet Union), the tolar was introduced as the country’s own currency. It replaced the Yugoslave dinar at par. In 1991, the Bank of Slovenia issued notes that were put into circulation as a temporary currency, with the first banknotes of the tolar going into circulation the following September.

When Slovenia joined the European Monetary Union (EMU) in January of 2007, the tolar was replaced by the euro at a rate of 239.64:1. Denominations of the tolar came in coins and banknotes. Tolar notes, which are no longer used in circulation, can still be exchanged for euros at the Bank of Slovenia.

In 2019, Slovenia saw GDP growth of 2.5% with inflation at 1.63%.

The Tolar to the Euro

Before Slovenia was able to officially join the European Union, it was required to fulfill a series of criteria known as the "convergence criteria" or "Maastricht criteria," which included requirements such as having a stable exchange rate and a low and stable interest rate. To help the country manage the transition from the tolar to the euro and prevent unreasonable price increases, prices of items in Slovenia were displayed in both currencies from March 2006 to June 2007.

The euro is currently the official currency for 19 of the 28 member nations of the European Union. Denominations of the euro include banknotes for 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 euros, as well as coins for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins. The adoption of a single currency by many of the member states saves from the impact of changing exchange rates and exchange costs, as well as simplifying trade between countries.

The European Central Bank (ECB) as well as individual member countries’ central banks oversee the euro. The ECB, which aims to maintain price stability, supervises monetary policy and sets interest rates in the region