|5 lei 1930|
21 mm diameter, 3.5 g, copper 79%, zinc 20%, nickel 1%, grained edge |
denomination "5 lei", Romanian coat of arms, six five-ray stars and ensigns of the manufacturer mint, outer pearl circle
|inscription "MIHAI I REGELE ROMANIEI" meaning "KING OF ROMANIA", year 1930 and MIHAI I head to the left, outer pearl circle|
Mintage: 60.000.000 coins
The pictures of the 5 lei 1930 coin struck at King's Norton above appears on the site thanks to the kind permission of Mr Cristian Ciuplea.
Mints that struck 5 lei 1930 coins
The 5 lei 1930 coins with king Mihai I were struck in three mints from abroad.
The coins struck in Paris (below, at left) have a horn of plenty with coins pouring out of it (mint sign) on the left of the coat of arms and a torch on the right as distinctive signs. The torch marks the chief engraver of the Parisian Mint, Henry Auguste Jules Patey.
The ones struck in Birmingham at King's Norton Metal Company are marked with K N in the lower obverse, and the ones struck at Birmingham at Heaton with an H at the same spot (the details below and the whole coins above and below).
Horn of plenty and torch
Most probably 30.000.000 coins were struck at Paris and the rest of 30 millions at Birmingham - 15.000.000 at Heaton and 15.000.000 at King's Norton.
About the number of teeth on the edge
It is interesting to observe that the number of teeth on the edge differs from one mint to another. There are 114 teeth at the coins struck at Heaton Birmingham, 115 at the coins struck at Paris and 120 to the coins struck at King's Norton in Birmingham.
In Monede și Bancnote Românești (Romanian Coins and Banknotes, 1977) it is mentioned that the coins with an H were struck at "Heaton, London". But the coins struck at Heaton were (usually) marked by an H, and Heaton Mint functioned always at Birmingham, never at London.
The 1930 coins of Mihai I circulated relatively very little due to his being overthrowned by his father Carol II, the same very year.
A striking error: as result of overimposing another coin between the blank and the die, a negative stamping appeared on the reverse of this curiosity. The pictures were made available to Romanian coins by Mr. Moise Alexandru-Răzvan.
Horn of plenty (cornucopia) and torch on another coin
The special ensigns are not that clear on these coins. To better comprehend the markings of the coins struck in France, take a look at the picture below taken from a one lepton Cretan coin from 1901, likewise marked. The horn of plenty and the torch are plainly featured and so clearly visible.
We also raise another problem at the same time. For what we know from our material resurces, the horn of plenty stands for a French mint in Paris, and the torch marks engraver Henry Auguste Jules Patey. This cannot be accurate, completely accurate at least, since we see the same two signs on the Cretan (coin above), being also able to doubtlessly read the name of the engravor - Borrel. The Latin spelling Borrel was confirmed by Mr. Stefan De Lombaert.
Mr. Stefan De Lombaert have solved our problem: the torch - personal sign of Henry Auguste Jules Patey (1855 - 1930), chief engraver of the Paris Mint between 1896 and 1930 - appears on all the coins struck at Paris in that period. So, the coin is struck under Patey, but it is possible that the engraver be another person, not mentioned on the coin! Between 1930 and 1958 the chief engraver was Lucien Bazor (1889 - 1974), marked by a wing, sign that appears also on the 10 lei 1930, 20 lei 1930 and 100 lei 1932 coins struck at Paris.