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Moldovan leu

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Title: Moldovan leu  
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Subject: Economy of Moldova, MobiasBanca, Moldova, Cinema of Moldova, Chișinău Botanical Garden
Collection: 1993 Introductions, Currencies of Moldova, Economy of Moldova
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Moldovan leu

Moldovan leu
leu moldovenesc (Moldovan) (Romanian)
1 Leu note obverse and reverse
ISO 4217 code MDL
Central bank National Bank of Moldova
 Website .md.bnmwww
User(s) Moldova
(except Transnistria)
Inflation 7.4%
 Source The World Factbook, 2010 est.
 1/100 ban
Plural lei
 ban bani
Coins 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 bani
Banknotes 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 lei

The leu (ISO 4217 code MDL) is the currency of Moldova. Like the Romanian leu, the Moldovan leu (pl. lei) is subdivided into 100 bani (singular: ban). The name of the currency originates in Romania and means "lion".


  • History 1
  • Coins 2
  • Banknotes 3
  • Exchange rates 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Between 1918 and 1940 and again between 1941 and 1944, when Moldova was part of Romania, the Romanian leu was used in what was then the eastern part of the broader Romanian region of Moldavia (Moldova in Romanian). The Moldovan leu was established on 29 November 1993, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of the independent republic of Moldova. It replaced the temporary cupon currency at a rate of 1 leu = 1000 cupon.

In Transnistria, an unrecognized state claimed in whole by Moldova, the Transnistrian ruble is used instead. The currency is not honoured by Moldova or any other state.


In November 1993 coins of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 bani in aluminium as well as nickel-plated-steel 1 and 5 leu coins were put in circulation.

The aluminium 50 bani,nickel-plated-steel 1 and 5 leu coins were later withdrawn from circulation. Starting January 1998 the aluminium 50 bani was replaced by one constructed of brass-clad steel.[1][2] No new 1- and 5 leu coins have been issued. 1-Ban coins were last minted in 2006. They remain legal tender, but are rarely seen in circulation, effectively leading to "Swedish rounding".[3]

Since 1996 several commemorative coins for collectors have been issued. A complete listing can be found here.[4]

Coins of the leu (1993–present)[5]
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse minting issue withdrawal lapse
1 ban 14,5 mm 0,67g aluminium plain Denomination, year Coat of arms of Moldova, country name 1993~2006 November 1993 Current*
5 bani 16 mm 0,75 g 1993~present Current
10 bani 16,6 mm 0,85 g
25 bani 17,5 mm 0,95 g
50 bani 19 mm 1,07 g 1993 ? ?
50 bani 19 mm 3,1 g Brass clad steel reeded Denomination, year Coat of arms of Moldova, country name 1997~present January 1998 current
1 leu 19,5 mm 3,32 g Nickel clad steel plain Denomination, year Coat of arms of Moldova, country name 1992 November 1993 ? ?
5 lei 21,5 mm 3,6 g plain 1993
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the .
  • Officially in circulation, but not used in practice


There have been two series of Moldovan leu banknotes. The first series was short-lived and only included 1, 5, and 10 lei. The front of all of these notes—and all subsequent notes—feature a portrait of Ștefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great, also known as Stephen III of Moldavia), the prince of Moldavia from 1457 to 1504. The first two lines of the Miorița (The Little Ewe) ballad appear on the back, printed vertically between the denomination numeral and the vignette of the fortress. The Miorița is an old Romanian pastoral ballad considered one of the most important pieces of Romanian folklore. The lines “Pe-un picior de plai, Pe-o gură de rai” translate as “Near a low foothill, at Heaven’s doorsill.”

Second Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark first printing issue
1 leu 114 × 58 mm Yellow Stephen III Mănăstirea Căpriana As portrait 1994 May 1994
5 lei Cyan Biserica sf. Dumitru din Orhei April 1994
10 lei 121 × 61 mm Red Mănăstirea Hârjauca May 1994
20 lei Green Cetatea Soroca 1992 November 1993
50 lei Pink Mănăstirea Hârbovăț May 1994
100 lei Orange Cetatea Tighina September 1995
200 lei 133 × 66 mm Purple Chișinău Mayoralty
500 lei Orange and green Chișinău Cathedral December 1999
1000 lei Blue Presidency building October 2003

Exchange rates

See also


  1. ^ "Coins , National Bank of Moldova". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Moldova Coins". Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "FAQ , National Bank of Moldova". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Commemorative Coins , National Bank of Moldova". Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "National Bank of Moldova". Retrieved 16 January 2014. 

External links

  • Coins of Moldova at
  • Catalog of Banknotes of Moldova

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