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Medals - 140th Anniversary of the Romanian Monetary System
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30 mm diameter, 10 g, coppered tombac, flat edge
face value 10 CENTIME and year 1860 inside an inner linear circle, inscriptions PRINCIPATELE UNITE meaning UNITED PRINCIPALITIES, outer pearl circle
coat of arms of Moldavia and Walachia inside a double shield, atop a crown ended with an orb (coat of arms for the United Principalities), outer pearled circle, inscription ALECSANDRU·JOAN·D[OMNUL]·MOLD[OVEI]·SI·VALAHIEI· meaning ALEXANDER JOHN RULER OF MOLDAVIA AND WALACHIA

Issuing date: 25th of April 2007

Mintage: 250 medals

37 mm diameter, 25 g, 92.5% silver, grained edge
face value 5 ROMANI and year 1860 inside a laurel wreath (laurel, accordingly to description in NBR pamphlet - wheat wreath, accordingly to the description made by Victor Place), outer pearl circle, inscriptions PRINCIPATELE UNITE meaning UNITED PRINCIPALITIES and PRIN·UNIRE·LA·PROPASIRE meaning THROUGH UNION TO PROGRESS, separated by stars with six rays
two adjacent shields with the coat of arms of Moldavia and Walachia, inside a pavilion lined with ermine, atop a crown ended with an orb (coat of arms for the United Principalities), outer pearl circle, inscription ALECSANDRU·JOAN·D[OMNUL]·MOLD[OVEI]·SI·VALAH[IEI]· meaning ALEXANDER JOHN RULER OF MOLDAVIA AND WALACHIA

Issuing date: 25th of April 2007

Mintage: 250 medals

21 mm diameter, 6.542 g, 90% gold, grained edge
face value 20 ROMANI and year 1860 inside a laurel wreath, outer pearl circle, inscription PRINCIPATELE UNITE meaning UNITED PRINCIPALITIES
two elliptical shields with the coat of arms of Moldavia and Walachia, atop a crown ended with an orb (coat of arms for the United Principalities), a pearl below the shields, outer pearl circle, inscription ALECSANDRU·JOAN·DOMN[UL]·MOLD[OVEI]·SI·VAL[AHIEI]· meaning ALEXANDER JOHN RULER OF MOLDAVIA AND WALACHIA

Issuing date: 25th of April 2007

Mintage: 250 medals


The pictures of the medals above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. J. Ardelean.


In 2007, 140 years were commemorated since the passing of the "Law for establishing a new monetary system and for manufacturing national coins" (Legea pentru înființarea unui nou sistem monetar și pentru fabricarea monetelor naționale) in the Parliament of Romania. With this occasion the National Bank of Romania issued a set of four replicas of 1 BANU, 2 BANI, 5 BANI and 10 BANI 1867 and a set of three medals that reproduce coin proposals from the time when prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Alexander John Cuza, 1859-1866) ruled the United Principalities / Romania.

In the same day the National Bank of Romania put on sale another set of medals, one from tombac and one from silver, set dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the re-establisment of the NBR Museum. Unfortunately this museum - specialized in numismatics - does not admit public visits.

About the gold replicas of 1 BANU, 2 BANI, 5 BANI and 10 BANI 1867 (issued in 2007)

All the replicas are made from gold (with title 99.9%) and have the same diameter as the original coins. The replicas are heavier than the original coins: 1.75, 3.5, 8.75 and 17.2 grams instead of 1, 2, 5 and 10 grams. Each coin was issued in a mintage of 250 pieces. Under the ribbon that ties the laurel and oak branches lies an R from replica instead the name of the mint. The replicas are made at B.U. quality.

About the coin projects from the rule of Alexandru Ioan Cuza (reproduced on the medals issued in 2007)

In the first three quarters of the 19th century, more than 70 coin species were admitted into circulation inside the Romanian Principalities - Moldavia and Walachia, Romania later - issued by various countries. Coins from neighbouring countries, Austria, Turkey and Russia, and from Great Britain, France or other European countries circulated in the Principalities. Sometimes, even coins that had ceased to be legal tender inside their issuing countries were still accepted for payments! The circulation of so many different foreign coins caused great losses to the national economy, and the exchange rates varied permanently.

Some attempts from before 1867 to reform the monetary system failed. Between 1859 and 1860 Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the elected ruler of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Walachia, tried to introduce a new monetary system. A very important role in this attempt was played by Victor Place, a great philo-Romanian and consul of the French Empire at Iași (the capital city of the Principality of Moldavia). Practically, the project intended to introduce the decimal monetary system of France. The coins should have been struck at Paris. The monetary unit should have been named român (Romanian) or romanat, by analogy with the French franc. One român was to be divided into 100 centimes (cents).

The coin projects immortalized in 2007 as medals were sketched in 1860 by the French numismatist Adrien de Longpérier, a friend of Victor Place. Longpérier was conservator at the Numismatic Cabinet of the Louvre Museum.

The monetary reform of 1867 improved the economy of Romania. After the introduction of bani and lei struck coins, most foreign coin species were officially withdrawn from circulation in 1873.


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