||25 lei 1922||
| 30 mm diameter, 8.065 g, gold 90%, silver 7.5%, copper 2.5%, grained edge
legend "FERDINAND I REGELE ROMANILOR - 25 LEI" meaning "FERDINAND I KING OF THE ROMANIANS - 25 LEI" and half profile crowned effigy of the king to the left (for the beholder); next to the right shoulder P. M. DAMMANN, name of the engraver, outer pearl circle
|legend "MARIA REGINA ROMANILOR - 1922 -" meaning "MARY QUEEN OF THE ROMANIANS - 1922 -" and half profile crowned effigy of the queen to the right (for the beholder), outer pearl circle
Mintage: 150.000 coins
About the 1922 coin set
Struck in Great Britain at London Royal Mint, in 1928 or 1929 (after Octavian Iliescu and Paul Radovici, Monetele României, 2004), although antedated in 1922. The decree for the issuing of these coins was published in the Official Gazette on June 4th 1927. King Ferdinand died on July 20th the same year.
The coin pictured here belongs to a four coin set of 20, 25, 50 and 100 lei. 20 and 100 lei share common design, the same for 25 and 50. The entire set was engraved by the renowned French artist Paul Marcel Dammann (1885 - 1939). The catalog values of king Ferdinand gold coins indicate that a lot of them were not released. Mr. J. M. suggests that a large part of the mintage was melted, maybe to strike other coins.
The coins were issued to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the coronation of Ferdinand I and Mary as sovereigns of the now entire Great Romania. Through the three Unions of 1918 Romania became again wholly complete. The Romanians had been brought together by Michael the Brave for the first time in 1600, that being the reason for which Romanians called World War I the Nation Recompletion War. The October 1922 coronation took place at Alba Iulia, in the heart of Transylvania, just like it did the first time in 1600 to add deepest signification.
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 and 50 lei coins in this set. 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.
About Queen Marie (Maria, Mary)
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 kink 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 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. "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).
Queen Marie also appears, wearing the same crown, on a gold 100 lei coin from 2010.
The gold coin pictures above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of an anonymous donor.