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Moldovan leu
leu moldovenesc (Moldovan) (Romanian)
1 Leu note obverse and reverse
1 Leu note obverse and reverse
ISO 4217 Code MDL
User(s) Moldova Moldova (except Transnistria territorial unit / Transnistria Transnistria)
Inflation 7.5%
Source The World Factbook, 2008 est.
Subunit
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
Central bank National Bank of Moldova
Website www.bnm.md

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".

Contents

History

Between 1918 and 1940 and again between 1941 and 1944, when Moldova was part of Romania, the Romanian leu was used also in the eastern part of Moldavia. 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 older cupon currency at a rate of 1 leu = 1000 cupon.

In Transnistria, an unrecognised break-away republic from eastern Moldova, Transnistrian ruble is used instead.

Coins

Coins consist of 1, 5, 10, and 25 bani in aluminium and 50 bani in aluminium-bronze. Aluminium 50 bani, and nickel-plated-steel 1 and 5 leu coins were issued in 1993 but have been withdrawn from circulation.

Banknotes

There have been two series of Moldovan leu banknotes. The first series was short-lived and only included 1, 5, and 10 lei.

Second Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark first printing issue
MD 1 leu av.jpg MD 1 leu rev.jpg 1 leu 114 × 58 mm Yellow Stephen III Mănăstirea Căpriana As portrait 1994 May 1994
MD 5 lei av.jpg MD 5 lei rev.jpg 5 lei Blue Biserica sf. Dumitru din Orhei April 1994
MD 10 lei av.jpg MD 10 lei rev.jpg 10 lei 121 × 61 mm Red Mănăstirea Hîrjauca May 1994
MD 20 lei av.jpg MD 20 lei rev.jpg 20 lei Lime Cetatea Soroca 1992 November 1993
MD 50 lei av.jpg MD 50 lei rev.jpg 50 lei Pink Mănăstirea Hîrbovăţ May 1994
MD 100 lei av.jpg MD 100 lei rev.jpg 100 lei Orange Cetatea Tighina September 1995
MD 200 lei av.jpg MD 200 lei rev.jpg 200 lei 133 × 66 mm Pink and yellow Chişinău Mayoralty
MD 500 lei av.jpg MD 500 lei rev.jpg 500 lei Orange and green Chişinău Cathedral December 1999
MD 1000 lei av.jpg MD 1000 lei rev.jpg 1000 lei Purple Presidency building October 2003
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Curious facts

  • On the front side of each banknote only one man is represented - the best-known ruler of Moldavia - Ştefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great).
  • On the back side of a 100 lei banknote the Bendery fortress is shown, though there is a typo in its name, as the word Thighina should be written without first "h" - Tighina.
  • The first two lines of the Mioriţa ballad - «Pe-un picior de plai, Pe-o gură de rai…», are written in the white circle on the front side of each banknote.
  • On the back side of a 1000 lei banknote the Presidency building is shown, yet the writing says that it's the Parliament building. This is because when these banknotes were first printed in 1992 this building was indeed the Parliament building, but then it became the Presidency building.
Current MDL exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RON RUB UAH
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RON RUB UAH
From XE.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RON RUB UAH
From OANDA.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RON RUB UAH

See also

Preceded by:
Moldovan cupon
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 leu = 1000 cupon
Currency of Moldova
1993
Succeeded by:
Current
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