Romania celebrates 140 years of independence with a proof silver coin

Just 140 years ago, the East European nation of Romania declared independence from the Ottoman Empire after having been an Ottoman ‘privileged province‘ previously. Carol I became the ruling Prince in 1866 and after the Ottomans had brutally crushed Christian uprisings in several other countries in the area, he asked the Ottomans to recognise Romania as independent. They refused.

Russia stepped in and guaranteed Romanian independence in return for helping them fight the Turks and in April 1877 that’s exactly what happened. On May 10th 1877, Romania formally declared itself a sovereign state and found itself at war. Romanian participation was crucial and critical victories by Romanian forces under Prince Carol helped force the Ottomans to sue for peace in early 1878. On May 10th 1881, Carol was crowned King of Romania.

The National Bank of Romania are marking the anniversary with a fine silver coin of an ounce in weight. Depicting Carol I in period uniform on the reverse face and a historical view of a military triumphal march on the obverse, it’s a well realised piece. While the coin is supplied unboxed (but encapsulated), it comes with a booklet of over 70 pages describing the theme and the coin (in Romanian, English and French), as well as including the serialised certificate of authenticity. Just 200 of this coin will be minted and while the issue price of lei 365.00 was low ( £70/€80/$90), they seem to be selling on auction sites for 4-5 times as much. Available now.

OBVERSE: a vintage image depicting the triumphal parade of the victorious Romanian troops that fought in the War of Independence, the inscription “ROMANIA” in an arc, the face value “10 Lei”, the coat of arms of Romania, and the year of issue “2017”.

REVERSE: the portrait of Carol I and the inscriptions “140 DE ANI DE LA PROCLAMAREA INDEPENDENTEI DE STAT” and “CAROL I” in an arc.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.103 grams
DIAMETER 37.00 mm
BOX / COA No / Yes