The lek (plural lekë) (sign: L; code: ALL) is the official currency of Albania. It was formerly subdivided into 100 qindarka (singular qindarkë), but qindarka are no longer issued.
The lek was introduced as the first Albanian currency in February 1926.
Before then, Albania was a country without a currency, adhering to a gold standard for the fixation of commercial values. Before the First World War the Ottoman Turkish piastre was in full circulation, but following the military occupation of the country by various continental powers the gold franc (Franc Germinal) was adopted as the monetary unit. In 1923 Italian paper circulated at Scutari, Durazzo, Valona, and Argyro-Castro, and the Greek drachma at Kortcha, the values of which varied according to locality and the prevailing rates of exchange as compared with gold.
The lek was named after Alexander the Great, whose name is often shortened to Leka in Albanian. Alexander's portrait appeared on the obverse of the 1 lek coin, while the reverse showed him on his horse.
The name qindarkë comes from the Albanian qind, meaning one hundred. The word is thus similar in formation to centime, cent, etc.
Between 1926 and 1939 the name Franga was used for Albanian gold currency worth five Albanian Leke for use in international transactions. A similar alternate name Belga was used for units of five Belgian francs.