|10 lei 2011 - coat of arms of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Walachia - 150 Years
37 mm diameter, 31.103 g, 99.9% silver, grained edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, circular arc, face value 10 LEI, coat of arms of Romania, year 2011, an image of prince Cuza, ALEXANDRU IOAN CUZA
|Reverse: inside inner linear circle the first official coat of arms of the United Principalities, circular inscription "STEMA PRINCIPATELOR UNITE MOLDOVA SI TARA ROMANEASCA · 1861 ·" meaning "COAT OF ARMS OF THE UNITED PRINCIPALITIES OF MOLDAVIA AND WALACHIA"
Issuing date: 27th of June 2011
Mintage: 500 coins
About the picture of Alexandru Ioan Cuza
Carol Popp de Szathmari (1812 - 1887) took in 1863 (when he was "painter and photographer of his serene highness ruling prince") several photographs of prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza and of his wife Elena. These pictures were used later as model for several engravings and paintings - on the Internet pictures exist of an engraving made at Vienna in 1864 and of another engraving, made at Paris by Joseph Lemercier (1803 - 1887). About the pictures taken by Romanian artist Carol Popp de Szathmari you can find more on Luminous Lint site.
The effigy of prince Cuza appears on the 50 lei 1991 - 1996 circulation coins and on some anniversary coins: 500 lei from 2004, dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the Bucharest University, 500 lei aur 2009, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Union between Moldavia and Walachia in 1859, 10 lei 2009 coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Statistical Office, 1 leu, 5 lei and 100 lei 2009 dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the General Staff of the Romanian Army and on the 10 lei 2011 coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the first coat of arms of the United Principalities.
About the first coat of arms of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Walachia
On 9th/21st of February 1861 Alexandru Ioan Cuza signed a High Daily Order, approving the proposal of the minister of war, general Emanoil Florescu, in respect to which all army of the Principalities was to wear "on the gorget the insignia of the United Principalities, exactly as the model hereby". The coat of arms was to be reproduced on the gorget - a crescent-shape metal plate worn by troops around the neck.
The coat of arms has a shield containing two escutcheons, with a princely crown adorned with pearls and with orb above. At the heraldic right is placed a wisent head (it should have been an urus head, but a wisent head was used instead, always after represented with beard), representing the Principality of Moldavia. At the heraldic left - lies an eagle with cross in its beak, sitting on a branch and ready to fly - as symbol of Walachia. The drawing attached to the Daily Order has no indications of color.
The lack of regulations led during the first part of Cuza's reign to various variants of coat of arms.