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As from 28 February 2018, new metal coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 lei are put into circulation


Starting with 28 February 2018, the National Bank of Moldova puts into circulation a new series of metal coins with a face value of 1, 2, 5 and 10 lei, which will be circulating in parallel with the existing banknotes of the same face value. 


Why do we need metal coins?

New coins are introduced following a broad economic study on cash currency use in the Republic of Moldova and internationally. According to this study, low-value banknotes used in the Republic of Moldova entered into “monetization zone” -  defined by their frequent use for daily purchases – that explains their fast deterioration.  The National Bank of Moldova conducted public consultations in the summer-autumn of last year with independent experts, local and central authorities, representatives of the business and banking environment.

The putting into circulation of new metal coins will optimize cash currency in the Republic of Moldova according to the best international practices in the currency circulation field. Additionally, the banknotes’ replacement with new metal coins will allow to make significant savings regarding the production costs supported by the NBM. At an equal price per unit, the coins have a lifetime of 10 times longer than the low-value banknotes. Additionally, the introduction of 2 lei coin will simplify the daily purchases.  New coins are compact, convenient, easy and environment-friendly, and may be recycled, decreasing the production costs.


How do new coins look like?

The coins of 1 and 2 lei are manufactured out of nickel-plated steel and have a silver tint. Those of 5 and 10 lei are manufactured out of steel, coated with nickel and copper, which gives them a bimetallic appearance: a silvery centre surrounded by a golden-colour ring for the 5-lei coin and respectively, a golden-colour centre surrounded by a silvery ring for the 10-lei coin. 

Each coin has a different weight, diameter and thickness.

On the reverse side, at the top, the coins bear a monogram of the capital letters „R” and „M” – the acronym of the country’s name - "the Republic of Moldova". The monogram is engraved using a holographic technique. The letters "R" and "M" become visible alternately when the coin is rotating to left or right. The micro-etchings with the “NBM” legend are applied on the digits’ surface. 

Each coin has a different reeded-edge pattern to facilitate the differentiation of the coins’ face value, in particular by visually impaired people. In addition, the edge of the 10-lei coin is etched with the repeating word MOLDOVA, preceded and followed by a star.

By putting together the four coins, one obtains on the obverse side the stylised image of the coat of arms of the Moldavian Principality, inserted in a quatrefoil, combining medieval heraldic elements: the aurochs’ head, seen frontally, with;

  • The crescent - on the 1-leu coin,
  • The sun – on the 2-lei coin,
  • The star, the princely crown above the aurochs’ horns and the heraldic rose – on the 5-lei coin, and
  • The princely dynastic shield – on the 10-lei coin.

On the reverse side, the assembling of coins recreates the State coat of arms of the Republic of Moldova.


The unique innovative design offers an advantageous image to the Moldovan leu.

The new coins meet the highest quality standards and include top-level safety elements, which ensure an effective protection against counterfeiting. 

25 years after its introduction, the Moldovan leu is being modernised to be used in a safer and more convenient way. 

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