||12 1/2 lei 1906||
20 mm diameter, 4.0325 g, gold 90%, |
silver 8.5%, copper 1.5%, grained edge, outer pearl circle
denomination "12 1/2 LEI", crowned heraldic eagle holding cross in its beak, sword and sceptre in its talons, bearing banner with the sentence
"PRIN STATORNICIE LA ISBINDA", meaning THROUGH FAITHFULNESS TO VICTORY
inscription "CAROL I REGE AL ROMANIEI·1866·1906" meaning "KING OF ROMANIA" and king CAROL I bust wearing military clothes and orders facing left and A. MICHAUX below the left shoulder (the engraver's name), outer pearl circle
Mintage: 32.000 coins.
The gold coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of an anonymous donor.
The silver and gold coins struck in 1906 were issued to celebrate the fortieth year of reign for king Carol I of Romania. Minted in Brussels, they were designed by Alfons Michaux.
This highly impressive coin set features the following values: 1 leu, 5 lei, 12 1/2 lei, 20 lei, 25 lei, 50 lei and 100 lei. To the best of our knowledge, these coins circulated effectively, the lesser ones at least. Part of the silver coins of 1906 were struck with silver from older used coins that were melted (face value of melted coins: 1.700.000 lei - information from Mr. J. M.).
The design of crowned heraldic eagle, holding cross in its beak, sword and sceptre in its talons, bearing banner with sentence "PRIN STATORNICIE LA ISBINDA", is almost identical to the one of Order Carol I, established the very same year 1906.
Mr. J. M. informs us that two variants of 50 lei 1906 exists. We quote from his message:
"The gold coins of 50 lei of 1906 exist in two varieties, i.e. with a red and with a yellower colour. This difference was intentional, in the sense that after a first strike in red gold (consisting of an alloy of 900‰ gold and 100‰ copper), the Romanian government asked that part of the copper of the alloy be replaced by silver, in order to obtain a yellower colour, thus better resembling the coins of 4 ducats of Austria, made of 986‰ pure gold. The alloy of these yellow coins is: 900‰ gold, 85‰ silver and 15‰ copper; this alloy was furthermore found to be more suitable for striking these flat coins, and was also used for all the pieces of 12.5 and 25 lei.
Mintage figures for the two types of the 50 lei are as follows: red gold: 8,000 - yellow gold: 20,000."
Below are the pictures of a very rare essay, made from silver (weighing 3.9 grams), from the G.F. collection, Germania.
Below are the pictures of a brass essay - present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of an anonymous donor.