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> Romanian "leu", It's history
21 inf
Posted: June 30, 2007 12:45 pm
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Can anyone post the history of romanian national "leu"?

AFAIK, the name "leu" comes from a dutch coin who represented some lions on it...
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Florin
Posted: July 11, 2007 03:33 am
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If you had the chance to see Romanian coins minted in the XIXth century, you could see the coat of arms of Romania on one face of the coins. The coat of arms changed over the years. There was a lion shown in it in 1867, and 2 lions in the coat of arms shown on the coins minted in 1880.

Considering the images of these lions pictured on the coins, I am not surprised that they were baptized as "lei" / "lions".
I am wondering if the name was decided by an official edict, or if common people introduced it during their daily life.
(IMG:http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/4538/5bani1867qv3.th.jpg)
(IMG:http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/5668/5lei1880aua7.th.jpg)

This post has been edited by Florin on July 11, 2007 03:37 am
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guina
Posted: July 11, 2007 11:16 am
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Its interesting that not only romanian currency is called "lion"but also bulgarian"leva" and albanian "leka"
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Florin
Posted: July 11, 2007 06:51 pm
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QUOTE (guina @ July 11, 2007 06:16 am)
Its interesting that not only romanian currency is called "lion"but also bulgarian"leva" and albanian "leka"

If I remember right, the Bulgarians also have a lion in their traditional coat of arms. If I am not wrong, the Bulgarians kept their lion in their coat of arms even in the Communist era. Maybe they followed us in their very beginning: Bulgaria got independent in 1878, many years after Romania was issuing its own "lions", while Albania got independent in 1912 (or 1913).

In a way is funny: the lions got extinct in the Balcanic Penynsula about 3000 years ago (thanks to humans, of course).

This post has been edited by Florin on July 11, 2007 06:59 pm
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BG7M
Posted: July 11, 2007 08:03 pm
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QUOTE (guina @ July 11, 2007 11:16 am)
Its interesting that not only romanian currency is called "lion"but also bulgarian"leva" and albanian "leka"

In fact, the albanian currency is named after Alexander the Great. Lek doesn't means "lion".
The name of romanian currency comes from the dutch Leeuwendaalder (Lionthaler), a coin very popular in the Romanian Principalities in XVI
XVII century. The Lionthaler was the ethalon currency (Etalonul - leu) in the whole period when the Principalities had no own currency (there were a bunch of foreign currencies accepted) - 'till 1867.
The leu was equivalent of 40 para (turkish currency) or 60 kopeks (russian...)
A picture of a leeuwendaalder from my collection (26,76grams, 40mm diameter):
(IMG:http://www.banivechi.com/bani/mai%20noi/leeuwendaalder%201616.jpg)
Confidens.D(omi)NO .NON. MOVETUR 1616/ MO(neta). ARG(entea). PRO(vinciarum). CONFOE(deratum). BEL(gicarum). WESTF(riesland)

This post has been edited by BG7M on July 11, 2007 08:08 pm
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Florin
Posted: July 12, 2007 02:32 pm
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Very interesting, "BG7M".
In the days when foreign currencies where in everyday usage, the Principalities also had their own currency - at least Moldavia, for sure. Maybe also Wallachia.
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Aldor
Posted: July 12, 2007 08:09 pm
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MMM
Posted: May 07, 2009 10:40 am
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QUOTE (21 inf @ June 30, 2007 12:45 pm)
AFAIK, the name "leu" comes from a dutch coin who represented some lions on it...

Fun thing: when showing our currency to a Dutch some weeks ago, she immediately assumed that leu is the same with leeuw, linking it to an old Dutch coin! Back then, I thought she was joking - I see now it's not quite so!
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Ursulescu
Posted: March 30, 2010 05:01 pm
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Very interesting article on the Wiki.

When I visited Romania in 1999, I found a 25 Bani from 1982 on the ground.

Last time I checked the value, it was worth $3 American.
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