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50 lei 2013 - Coenagrion mercuriale damselfly
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30 mm diameter, 16.5 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
year 2013, 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 damselfly, circular inscription · CARTEA ROŖIE · LIBELULA MERCURIU · COENAGRION MERCURIALE meaning "RED BOOK MERCURY'S DAMSELFLY" (the scientific name being written with cursive capital letters)

Issuing date: 29th of November 2013

Mintage: 2000 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 Coenagrion mercuriale Damselfly

This species is spread in western Europe, from southern Britain over westermost to Slovakia and from Germany over to Spain, Italy, and also southernmost to northern Africa.

In the Republic of Moldova the Coenagrion mercuriale damselfly was reported for the region at the confluence of Nistru River and Bīc River. The species has been also reported in Romania [1], in Sibiu and in the region of Oltenia. Nowadays the reports of the species in Romania and the Republic of Moldova are considered as erroneous identification [2], [3]. Due to the fact that the spots on the abdomen are highly variable at damselflies, confusion is possible for this species also, especially with Coenagrion ornatum.

This Moldavian coin features this subject due to the erroneous mention of this species in the Red Book of Moldova - a list of plant and animal species threatened with extinction.

The word Coenagrion comes from Greek, and it means "common in the wild". The Latin name "mercuriale" means "of (belonging to) Mercury". The German entomologist Toussaint de Charpentier (1779-1847) has named the species mercuriale because it appeared to him that one of the black spots on the male's (blue) abdomen was somehow alike the sign used by astrologers for the planet Mercury. The name "mercuriu", that would to be a common or popular name in Romanian, is a pastiche after the Latin scientific name (a situation often encountered in almost all languages with the names of very little known plants and animals).


1. Cīrdei F., Bulimar Felicia, Odonata. Fauna Republicii Populare Romāne. Insecta. Volumul VII, fascicula 5, Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Romāne, Bucureŗti, 1965.

2. Manci C., Dragonfly Fauna (Insecta: Odonata) from Romania. PhD Thesis Abstract, Cluj-Napoca, 2012, accesat ianuarie 2014.

3. ***, Coenagrion mercuriale (Southern Damselfly). The IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species 2013.2, accesat ianuarie 2014.

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