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100 lei gold 2010 - Queen Marie of Romania - 135 Years since Birth
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21 mm diameter, 6.452 g, 90% gold, grained edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, coat of arms of Romania, face value 100 LEI, medallion with an image of Queen Marie, laurel wreath and inscription "REGINA MARII UNIRI" meaning "QUEEN OF THE GREAT UNION"
Reverse: a portrait of Queen Marie wearing her royal crown (used at the Alba Iulia coronation in 1922), years 1875 and 2010, inscription "REGINA MARIA A ROMANIEI MARI" meaning "QUEEN MARIE OF THE GREAT ROMANIA"

Issuing date: 15th of November 2010

Mintage: 1000 coins

The gold coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of an anonymous donor.

About Queen Marie (Maria, Mary) of Romania

The future Queen Marie of Romania was born on the 3rd of October 1875, being the daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (the second son of Queen Victoria - after 1893, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), and of the Russian Grand Duchess Maria (daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia).

Lady Marie, princess of Edinburgh, married Ferdinand, crown prince of Romania, in December 1892. The couple had six children: Carol (1893 - 1953, future king Carol II), Elisabeta (1894 - 1961), Marioara (1899 - 1961), Nicolae (1903 - 1978), Ileana (1908 - 1991) and Mircea (1913 - 1916).

Strong personality, very beautiful woman, extremely respected by the Romanian army, Marie really loved Romania. In the second Balkan War she worked for the Red Cross, as head nurse of the Zimnicea Military Camp, where soldiers sick of cholera (returned from Bulgaria) were treated. She was helped in her duty by some sisters from the well-known congregation Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and by many brave Romanian women. It seems that Marie had an important role in the decision of Romania's joining the Allies in 1916 in the World War I.

Queen Marie died on July 18th 1938. Her heart was sent to Stella Maris chapel in Balcic (her favorite town, the former summer retreat of Romanian royalty and aristocracy, in the southern part of the Romanian Dobrogea (Dobruja), nowadays Balchik in Bulgaria), her body being entombed in the royal burial abbey of Curtea de Argeș. In 1940, after the cession of Cadrilater (Durustor and Caliacra counties were given to Bulgaria, after the Treaty of Craiova), the heart of the queen was moved to Bran Castle. "Before going from Cotroceni Palace on her very last way, the Queen was saluted by the soldiers with the bayonets thrusted into the ground and with the weapons butt end above, unique gesture that the [Romanian] Army never offered to any other human being." - from Mr. Alex Mihai Stoenescu's book "Istoria loviturilor de stat în România = History of the coups d'état in Romania" (vol. II, Bucharest, 2001, in Romanian).

About the crown worn by Queen Marie at her crowning

The crown worn by Queen Marie at the Alba Iulia crowning, at October 15th 1922, appears on the 25 lei 1922 and on 50 lei gold coins. The crown was manufactured at Paris, at the jewelry firm "Falize", after the sketches of the Romanian painter Costin Petrescu. He inspired himself from the crown worn by Lady Elena - Despina (wife of Neagoe Basarab, ruler of Walachia between 1512 and 1521, daughter of the Serbian despot Jovan Brankovic) on the votive painting of the bishopric church in Curtea de Argeș.

The crown has radiate arms, ending with fleur-de-lis. The crown has many inserted gems. At each side is a pendant, with a disk with three rows of beads ended with a "crux gammata", a cross with arms shaped like the Greek letter gamma. On the disks are represented the Romanian and respectively the Great Britain coat of arms (the last, as a homage to the British origin of Queen Marie). Atop is a crux gammata. From the artistic point of view, the crown belongs to the 1900 style (Art Nouveau).

The crown has almost 2 kg, 17.5 centimeters in diameter at the bottom and 18 centimeters in height. Nowadays it is displayed at the National History Museum in Bucharest, in the Treasury Room.

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