|500 lei - 140th Anniversary of the Bucharest University
37 mm diameter, 31.103 g, silver 99,9%, flat edge
Obverse: Romanian coat of arms, denomination value 500 LEI, year 2004, ROMANIA (vertically written), two adorning motifs flanking a representation of science; in the center the coat of arms of the Bucharest University
|Reverse: circular inscription UNIVERSITATEA DIN BUCURESTI 140 DE ANI (two rows) meaning BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY 140 YEARS, a coat of arms of reigning prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, an adorning element, bust of the prince inside medallion above his signature, respresentation of University building and inscription
INTEMEIATA LA 1864 DE AL. IOAN CUZA meaning FOUNDED IN 1864 BY AL. IOAN CUZA
Issuing date: 27th of September 2004
Mintage: 500 coins
About the University of Bucharest
The first modern institution to provide elevated education inside the Romanian space was founded in 1860 in Iași, the capital of Moldavia.
In 1863 a higher education school of sciences and a higher education school of humanities were organized in Bucharest. The princely decree of July 4th 1864 signed by Alexandru Ioan Cuza stated that these faculties "together united will bear the name of: University of Bucharest".
Jurist Gheorghe Costa-Foru was the first rector of the University, being chosen on September 15th 1864.
Initially, the Bucharest University had three faculties: Law, philosophy and sciences. Because a university has, by definition, to embrace the entirety of the human knowledge, a problem was brought to attention, whether or not the sum of the three faculties, in absence of a medicine faculty, deserve to be called University. At the time along these species there were only theology faculties.
The aptitudes of the candidates willing to obtain a tenure were appreciated by a comitia of five comprized from the "dean and four professors from the faculty of the respective science, taken at random, for Bucharest from the faculty of Iași and for Iași from that of Bucharest" (Education Law of 1864).
Today the University of Bucharest has 20 faculties, over 30.000 students and over 3.000 teachers.
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 gold 2009, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Union between Moldavia and Walachia in 1859, 10 lei 2009, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Statistical Office and on the coin set of 1 leu, 5 lei and 100 lei 2009 dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the General Staff of the Romanian Army.
We are grateful to Mr Adrian Popovici, that sent us pictures of this coin. We want also to thank Mr Lazăr Florin, that was also so kind and sent pictures.