Symbolic and cultural value of Romania implemented by its numismatic collection

October 29th, 2014

Through its symbolic and cultural value acquired over time, the coin exceeded its initial role of exchange currency and hoarding. Both Greeks and Romans, forerunners of the European civilisation, transmitted the tradition of coining, which became over centuries part of the national heritage and symbol of the states' sovereignty.

Among the most valuable collections of the national heritage the numismatic collection of the National Bank of Romania must be mentioned, to which Romfilatelia dedicates the postage stamps "The Numismatic Collection of the National Bank of Romania, Coin Hoards". According to info got by this stamp release consists of four stamps that were put into circulation on the 24th of October.

On the postage stamp with the face value of lei 2.00 there is an illustration of the Koson - the only Dacian gold coin known so far.

First mentioned in the 16th century by Erasmus of Rotterdam, the Koson-type coins are one of the most interesting chapters in Romanian numismatics.

"Koson" is, above all, the name given to a gold coin weighing about 8.5 g, with a diameter between 18 and 22 mm. The coin bears on one of its sides an eagle turned to the left, on a sceptre, with a wreath in the right claw, and on the other side three men, a consul between two lictors walking to the left, and the legend ΚΟΣΩΝ in Greek within the exergue. Most coins have a monogram in front of the first lictor.

The numismatic collection of the National Bank of Romania contains 211 pieces of this kind, coming from an impressive hoard unearthed very close to Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital city of ancient Dacia, in 1996.

In the National Bank of Romania's numismatic collection, there are some coin hoards consisting of Istrian Drachms discovered in Dobrogea, one of these being depicted on the postage stamp with the face value of lei 2.40.

The image of the Thaler, the ancestor of the Romanian currency (Leu), is represented on the postage stamp with the face value of lei 8.10. Starting with the 16th century, it began to circulate over the entire European territory. In the Romanian Principalities, the thaler circulated in a variety of typological variations. It was especially the leeuwendaalder (lion-thaler) issued in the United Provinces of Netherlands that was the most widely spread. In the Romanian Principalities, it was simply called the "Taler-leu" (Lion-thaler), and thereafter it was given the name of "Leu" (Lion).

The Gold Ducat of Venice is represented on the postage stamp with the face value of lei 14.50. In the Middle Ages, many foreign gold coins circulated in Wallachia and Moldavia. Between the 14th - 16th centuries, especially towards the end of this period, while the Romanian Principalities stopped minting their own coins, the Byzantine hyperpyron, the Venetian and Hungarian ducats became widely spread.

Even though from the 16th century the source of gold issues diversified, the gold ducat minted in Venice, also known as the sequin or zecchino, kept its role previously acquired. Together with the Dutch ducats, and those issued in Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire, the Venetian ducat continued to dominate the high-value currency movements until the 18th century.

The National Bank of Romania's numismatic collection contains a coin hoard consisting of Venetian ducats from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Tags: #Romania