Paper Money

Romania celebrates its centennial with note

The National Bank of Romania put a commemorative 100-leu bank note into circulation of Dec. I, Romania’s National Day. 

The date marked the 100th anniversary of the Great Union of 1918 when during the reign of King Ferdinand I, Romania, then consisting only of Moldova and Wallachia, nearly doubled its territory. It was united with Transylvania, Crisana, Banat and the Maramures area, all once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that had ended with its defeat in World War I.


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Two elements dominate the note’s face. On the right are profile portraits of King Ferdinand I and Queen Maria with their names and their birth and death dates below. In the center is a drawing showing the Great National Assembly in Alba Iulia, on Dec. 1, 1918, where the declaration of unification was read in a public event attended by over 100,000 citizens.

The left part of the note’s back shows the arrival of the royal cortege in Bucharest on Dec. 1, 1918, and part of the mace of King Ferdinand I. In the center are four women in folk costumes typical of each Romanian province: Bessarabia, Romania, Transylvania, and Bukovina. The note’s serial number is printed in letters and numbers on the left side, horizontally, in red ink with fonts of ascending height, and on the right side, vertically, in black ink. 

The 147- by 82-millimeter polymer note is predominantly blue in color and complements its traditional design with modern security in both the polymer substrate and the printing. 

The polymer contains a transparent window with portraits of the king and queen; a band of variable color; and a security feature visible when held against the light; a watermark with part of the king’s mace and the bank’s logo; the text ROMNIA 100 on the edge of the transparent window; and 1 DECEMBRIE 1918 1 DECEMBRIE 2018 in microtext on the magnetic security thread. Printed elements include raised print, gold to green shifting ink, images visible only when the note is held to light or tilted and, in the central area, laser micro-perforations of “100” placed vertically.

Ten thousand notes are being issued at 150 lei each, including a leaflet. They are available at the National Bank of Romania in Bucharest, and several of its branches. The notes are the equivalent of approximately $24.50 in U.S. currency.

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