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100 lei 1999, 2002, 2003
Coofene演i Helmet
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13.92 mm diameter, 1.224 grams, 99.9% gold, proof quality, grained edge Obverse: Romanian Coat of Arms, denomination "100 LEI" and the inscription "ROMANIA". Ornaments: palm leaves and lotus buds
Reverse: graphics of the gold helmet found at Poiana Coofene演i and a circular inscription "COIF POIANA COTOFENESTI", COIF meaning HELMET

Issuing date: 24th of December 1999

Maximum mintage: 25.000 coins

The coin pictures the massive Dacian helmet (25.5 centimeters in height, 19 in diameter, 779 grams) found in 1928 at Poiana-Coofene演i (county of Prahova) and belongs to a larger series of coins dedicated to the history of gold in Romania.

The History of gold series comprises four pieces of 500 lei from 2001 (featuring the golden cache of Pietroasa), three 100 lei coins from 1999 (and from 2002 and 2003 too) with the Dacian helmet of Poiana-Coofene演i, from 2003 with an eagle from Apahida, from 2004 with the Cantacuzinian engolpion and several of 10 new lei from 2005 with the Per槐nari hoard, from 2006 with the Cucuteni-B緅ceni hoard, from 2007 with the rhyton of Poroina, from 2008 with the Hinova hoard, from 2010 with the Some榷ni hoard, from 2011 with the buckle of Curtea de Arge and with the cross from Dinogetia and from 2012 with the patera from Pietroasa Hoard.

The palm leaves and the lotus buds represent a decorative motif on a ceremonial vessel founded in a tumular Thracian tomb at Agighiol (village in the commune Valea Nucarilor, Tulcea county).

year 2002

Mintage: 3.000 coins

About Poiana-Coofene演i coins with years 2002 and 2003

The pamphlet accompanying the tiny coin of 1999 announces a maximum mintage of 25,000 pieces, without declaring how many exactly were to be struck in 1999 though. However, in 2002 a supplementary mintage of 3,000 pieces were struck bearing the new year of issue. This is not quite fair in numismatic terms, as long as no one can precisely tell how much is the coin going to be worth (information existed on a former site of the National Mint, today missing from the new one). The 2002 coins are not separately mentioned in the price lists of BNR (National Bank of Romania). Coins bearing year 2003 also exist, but no official information is available about them until now (in 2012).

year 2003

Mintage: unknown

According to our analysis of the 100 lei coins from 1999, 2002 and 2003 offered for sale on E-bay, the vast majority of the items were marketed by sellers from Germany. A proportion of the pieces come with warranty certificates devoid of security features, issued by MDM.

All hints led to the conclusion that these three pieces were marketed abroad by MDM Münzhandelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG Deutsche Münze from Braunschweig, Germany. The coins belong to a large series named "Die kleinsten Goldmünzen der Welt" - "The Smallest Gold Coins of the World". MDM sells small gold coins from various countries within this series even today (2012). In conformity with the German certificate, all pieces were issued by the National Bank of Romania. It is quite certain that the pieces could be ordered by mail, through the German magazine Deutschen Münzen Magazin (nowadays this magazine is appended with postcards for ordering various numismatic pieces from MDM), or maybe through MDM-Journal magazine.

Apparently the coins marked with striking years 1999, 2002 and 2003, marketed in Germany, are authentic, being struck at the National Mint of Romania with permission of the National Bank of Romania, subsequently to a contract with company MDM, only that details of these issues and the contract were never disclosed to the public by NBR.


Looking good and being representative, we used this coin as the very background of our site (the one of 1999).

Postcard of the National History Museum - Bucharest National Geographic Rom滱ia - June 2003

Sold for 675.000 lei (about 25 US$ in 1999). In July 2004 BNR sold the Coofene演i Helmet at an equivalent of 50 US$.

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