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50 lei 2012 - Lady's slipper
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
year 2012, circular inscription REPUBLICA MOLDOVA meaning "REPUBLIC OF MOLDAVIA" and the coat of arms of the Republic of Moldavia, in exergue horizontal line and denomination "50 LEI"
inside linear circle a lady's slipper flower, circular inscription · CARTEA ROȘIE · PAPUCUL-DOAMNEI · CYPRIPEDIUM CALCEOLUS meaning "RED BOOK LADY'S SLIPPER" (the scientific name being written with cursive capital letters)

Issuing date: 10th of October 2012

Mintage: 1000 coins

The Red Book series comprises the following 10 lei silver coins (over to June 2018):

- wildcat and green woodpecker in 2001,

- black stork and European mink in 2003,

- pine marten in 2004,

- imperial eagle in 2005,

- great bustard in 2006,

- European ground squirrel in 2007 and

- white waterlily in 2008.

The series also comprises the following 50 lei coins:

- Eurasian spoonbill in 2011,

- otter and lady's slipper in 2012,

- mute swan and Coenagrion mercuriale damselfly in 2013,

- glossy ibis and the peony Paeonia peregrina in 2014,

- European pond turtle in 2015,

- red-breasted goose in 2016,

- Dianthus deltoides - maiden pink in 2018 (2017).

About Lady's Slipper Orchid

Lady's slipper is a very rare and beautiful orchid. The stem can measure between 15 and 70 centimeters and usually bears a single flower, rarely two and extremely rarely three or even four flowers. It can be scarcely found in shadowy forests and blossoms during May-June [3]. In Romania this species is protected by the law, being considered a natural monument.

Romanian scientist Ion Simionescu wrote about lady's slipper flower: "When you see it for the first time, you stop in front of it as in front of a famous painting you craved to see for real. At once you don't realize: is it a jewel made from sapphires, rubies and diamonds when a dew droplet stops on its corolla? Is it a rare butterfly or a hummingbird lost on our lands?" [2].

The name of the species - calceolus - can be translated by small footwear [1]. The genus name, Cypripedium, is composed from Cypris and pedium. Cypris is one of the names given to goddess Aphrodite, that refers to the birthplace of the goddess - the island of Cyprus (Kypros in Greek). Pedium seems to be the name of some kind of sandals. Both names were chosen by Swedish scholar Linné.


1. Guțu G., Dicționar latin-român. Editura Științifică și Pedagogică, București, 1983.

2. Simionescu I., Flora României. ediția a IV-a, Editura Albatros, București, 1973.

3. Todor I., Mic atlas de plante din flora Republicii Socialiste România. Editura Didactică și Pedagogică, București, 1968.

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