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500 lei 2007 - Nicolae Bălcescu
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35 mm diameter, 31.103 g, gold 99.9%, grained edge
Obverse: ROMANIA, Romanian coat of arms, year 1848 (year of the 1848 Revolution in which Bălcescu has played an important role) and year 2007 (when the coin was struck), face value 500 LEI, on the lower rim inscription "DREPTATE SI FRATIE" meaning "JUSTICE AND BROTHERHOOD" - sentence of Frăția [Brotherhood] Society
Reverse: bust of Nicolae Bălcescu, ∴ 1819 and 1852 ∴ representing his life years, inscription NICOLAE BALCESCU

Issuing date: 22nd of January 2007

Mintage: 250 coins


The pictures of the coin above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. J. Ardelean.

About the Frăția [Brotherhood] Secret Society

Ion Ghica (1816-1897) relates [1] that he had found in the autumn of 1843, together with Nicolae Bălcescu and captain Christian Tell (1808-1884) a secret society called Frăția [Brotherhood]. The sentence of the society was Dreptate, Frăție [Justice, Brotherhood]. The society had a statute, "written in ciphers with key", which was kept hidden inside a book at Ion Ghica's home. Unfortunately a fire has destroyed this precious document in 1856. A lot of Romanian youngsters were received in the Brotherhood and played afterwards important roles during the Romanian Revolution of 1848.

About the three poins placed in equilateral triangle form ∴ that appear on the reverse

In a masonic document three points placed in triangular form appear after letters to mark that the letters are initials of a masonic title (G∴M∴ for Grand Master, or G∴L∴ for Grand Lodge). This is not a simbol. The ∴ sign do not derive from Cabala or from antique simbols, being an abbreviation. The idea of using three points for abbreviation probably came from 3 as masonic number. The three points may refer to the officers of the Grand Orient de France Lodge, because the sign was used at the beginnings by the French masonry. [Mackey G. Albert, An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences. The Masonic History Company, New York and London, vol. II, 1916, p. 785.]

The presence of the masonic sign ∴ on the coin is a remembrance that Nicolae Bălcescu was mason. One of the lodges established in Romania after 1989 was named Bălcescu.

References

1. Ghica I., Din vremea lui Caragea. Scrisori către V. Alecsandri. Editura de Stat pentru Literatură și Artă, 1960.

2. Mackey G. Albert, An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences. The Masonic History Company, New York and London, vol. II, 1916, p. 785.


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