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2 lei 1873 2 lei 1873
27 mm diameter, 10 g, silver 83.5%, copper 16.5%, grained edge
ROMANIA, denomination "2 LEI", wreath formed by interlaced laurel and oak branches, outer pearl circle
Romanian coat of arms, year 1873, STERN, the name of the engraver and a portrait, sign used for coins struck at Brussels, outer pearl circle

Mintage:    262.000 coins in 1872

               1.745.000 coins in 1873

               3.092.500 coins in 1875

                  653.255 coins in 1876


Mintage: 262.000 coins in 1872, 1.745.000 in 1873, 3.092.500 in 1875 and 653.255 in 1876. Accordingly to monograph "Monede și bancnote românești" there are pieces with sides facing either commonly (inverted) or the medal fashion (upright).

About the mintmarks used on the silver coins series struck at Brussels between 1872 and 1876

The ensign of the José Allard mint in Brussell appearing on the values of 50 bani, 1 leu and 2 lei (1872 - 1876) is not a barbell, as pointed by the Romanian specific literature, yet it is a portrait. This fact is conspicuously noticeable only on perfectly preserved, mint state coins. Plane to see, the barbell description provided by specific printed numismatic materials is wrong. Of interest to see that the face or mask differs with the denomination value and the year of issue.

This ground shaking datum along the illustrative pictures accompanying it and the 2 lei 1873 pictures are present on Romanian coins as courtesy of Mr Radu Lissner.

We also received further trustworthy info from Mr. J. M.. We quote from his letter as we cannot put it better than himself: "The mint mark on the coins, struck at Brussels between 1872 and 1876, is actually the head of Saint-Michael, patron of the city of Brussels. This mint mark was used for several centuries up to the independence of Belgium in 1830, but disappeared then from the Belgian coins, only to reappear again in the 1960s. It was, however, used on the coins struck for Romania in Brussels in 1872-1876, and on some essays of the same period made for Switzerland." Also Mr. J. M. sent us the image of an 1872 piece without the mint ensign (below left).

2 lei 1872 without mint mark Ensign of José Allard mint in Brussells - details on the 50 bani 1873, 2 lei 1873 and 2 lei 1876 silver pieces (from left to right for the beholder)

In the picture (above right) details on the 50 bani 1873, 2 lei 1873 and 2 lei 1876 silver pieces are displayed (from left to right for the beholder).

Constantin Bacalbașa about the 2 lei of 1872

Inside memoirs book "Bucureștii de altădată" (Bucharest of Yore) Constantin Bacalbașa noted inside the Miscellaneous chapter of year 1872:

"In December 1872, the ministry of Finances brings from Belgium, for 25 million lei, a new silver coin, all pieces of 2 lei.

The newspapers criticize this transport for numerous reasons: weekly reliefed coin, ugly design and, above all, the figure of the prince that was on the old coins, dissappeared as result of Turkey's demand. Then the newspapers were asking why was the new coin cast in Belgium while the state had a well installed mint with special personnel?"

Indeed, on the silver 1 leu and golden 20 lei coins of 1870 the portrait of prince Carol had been represented. The presence of the effigy was deemed by Turkey as a sign of Romania's independence tendencies. As consequence of Turkish protests, the effigy was replaced by the coat of arms or the crown of Romania.


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