||1 ban 1867||
15 mm diameter, 1 g, copper 95%, tin 4%, zinc 1%, flat edge, outer pearl circle |
denomination "1 BANU" and year 1867 inside a wreath formed by a laurel branch (left) and an oak branch (right); below the ribbon that ties the branches lies the mint name
|inscription ROMANIA and the Romanian coat of arms; outer pearl circle |
Mintage: 2.500.000 coins (Heaton)
Mintage: 2.500.000 coins (Watt & Co.)
About the mints where the 1867 coins were struck
The four coins struck in 1867 were made by two mints: Heaton in Birmingham and Watt & Co. also from Birmingham, so that there are two sets of slightly different coins. On the lower reverse we can read the mint name, Heaton or Watt & Co., except for the 1 ban coin struck by Heaton which for lack of space has only an H and for the 1 ban struck at Watt & Co., marked with Watt & C. The sides are placed as on medals, the normal viewing positions pointing likewise.
The coins bearing year 1867 were released into circulation at January 1st 1868.
Watt & C - Watt & Co. mint
About the proof like coins of the 1867 series
We received the following information from Mr. Cristian Ciuplea:
"I have another information, about the Heaton/Watt coins: probably some proof like coins (the Americans offer them directly as proofs) will appear on the Romanian numismatic market. All of them are Heaton! About three years ago a lot of more than 1000 pieces was put to sale, offered compactly, from Switzerland. The lot came from England, being the collection of the Heaton Mint, probably the last part."
It seems that the Heaton owners had a very developed numismatic sense, because they retained the first coins struck with new dies, pieces that have a very good quality and proof like aspect. Today, after more than 100 years, these coins are much more valuable. The patterns for 50 bani, 1 leu 1869 and 2 lei 1869 coins, presented in the pattern section of our site, are from the retail sale of the Heaton collection too.
About the gold replica of 1 BANU 1867 (issued in 2007)
Into 2007 140 years were commemorated from the voting of "Legea pentru înființarea unui nou sistem monetar și pentru fabricarea monetelor naționale" (Law for establishing a new monetary system and for manufacturing national coins) by 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.
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. The term BU - brilliant uncirculated - means uncirculated coin with the mint luster intact. In order to obtain a BU coin the dies are carefully polished. The blanks are also polished, in this way the coins having a luster far superior to the luster of the common uncirculated coins.
The 1 ban 1867 coin is represented on the obverse of the silver 10 lei 2008 coin dedicated to the Romanian economist Costin Kirițescu.
About the word BANU
This 1 ban piece is the only coin where the name of the leu divisional unit appears as banu. In an early stage of the Romanian language evolution all words ending in a consonant had also a sounded u at the very end. With time this final u disappeared from pronunciation. At the times this coin was struck the orthography pretended to be etymological, and the Academy had not succeeded in imposing a unitary writing. Short final U appears on this piece and the golden 20 lei in 1868.
Short final u was eliminated almost totally by brochure "Regule ortografice" printed by the Romanian Academy in 1904, edited again in 1907 as "Ortografia Academiei Române declarată oficială și obligatorie a se întrebuința de toate autoritățile Statului" meaning "Romanian Academy Orthography Declared Official and Compulsory to Be Used by All State Authorities", in 1919, 1924 and 1932. The singular of the nouns ending in i kept a while the short final u that today has completely disappeared. The reform in 1903 banned the strange letters î of e, of u and of o - ê, û, ô.
The 1 banu 1867 coins pictures above and the detailed pictures with the mint names are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of an anonymous donor.