Currency - Romanian leu

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Romanian leu

The Romanian leu (, plural lei ; sign: L; ISO 4217 code: RON; numeric code: 946) is the currency of Romania. It is subdivided into 100 bani (, singular: ban ), a word that is also used for "money" in the Romanian language.

The name of the currency means "lion", and is derived from the Dutch thaler (leeuwendaalder "lion thaler/dollar").

In 1860, the Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza attempted to create a national românul ("The Romanian") and the romanat; however, the project was not approved by the Ottoman Empire.

On April 22, 1867, a bimetallic currency was adopted, with the leu equal to 5 grams of 83.5% silver or 0.29032 grams of gold. The first leu coin was minted in Romania in 1870.

Before 1878 the silver Russian ruble was valued so highly as to drive the native coins out of circulation. Consequently, in 1889, Romania unilaterally joined the Latin Monetary Union and adopted a gold standard. Silver coins were legal tender only up to 50 lei. All taxes and customs dues were to be paid in gold and, owing to the small quantities issued from the Romanian mint, foreign gold coins were current, especially French 20-franc pieces (equal at par to 20 lei), Turkish gold lire (22.70), old Russian imperials (20.60) and British sovereigns (25.22).

Romania left the gold standard in 1914 and the leu's value fell. The exchange rate was pegged at 167.20 lei to 1 U.S. dollar on February 7, 1929, 135.95 lei on November 5, 1936, 204.29 lei on May 18, 1940, and 187.48 Lei on March 31, 1941. During Romania's World War II alliance with Nazi Germany, the leu was pegged to the Reichsmark at a rate of 49.50 lei to 1 Reichsmark, falling to 59.5 lei in April 1941. During Soviet occupation, the exchange rate was 1 ruble to 100 lei. After the war, the value of the currency fell dramatically and the National Bank issued a new leu, which was worth 20,000 old lei.

A revaluation ("Great stabilization", marea stabilizare) took place on August 15, 1947, replacing the old leu at a rate of 20,000 old lei = 1 new leu. No advance warning was given and there were limits for the sums to be converted in the new currency: 5 million old lei for farmers and 3 million old lei for workers and pensioners.

Out of the 48.5 billion old lei in circulation, only around half were changed to new lei. The most affected was the middle and upper classes, who were later also affected by the nationalization of 1948. At the time of its introduction, 150 new lei equaled 1 U.S. dollar.



Romania (România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.

The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta. The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2544 m.


Romanian leu (English)  Leu romeno (Italiano)  Roemeense leu (Nederlands)  Leu roumain (Français)  Rumänischer Leu (Deutsch)  Leu romeno (Português)  Румынский лей (Русский)  Leu rumano (Español)  Lej (Polski)  罗马尼亚列伊 (中文)  Rumänsk leu (Svenska)  Leu românesc (Română)  ルーマニア・レウ (日本語)  Румунський лей (Українська)  Румънска лея (Български)  루마니아 레우 (한국어)  Romanian leu (Suomi)  Leu Rumania (Bahasa Indonesia)  Naujoji Rumunijos lėja (Lietuvių)  Rumænske lei (Dansk)  Rumunské leu (Česky)  Rumen leyi (Türkçe)  Румунски леј (Српски / Srpski)  Rumeenia leu (Eesti)  Nový rumunský lei (Slovenčina)  Román lej (Magyar)  Rumunjski lej (Hrvatski)  Rumānijas leja (Latviešu)  Λέου Ρουμανίας (Ελληνικά)