Monthly Archives: October 2012

Moldova: 10 bani 2005

Moldova is an ex-soviet state which gained its independence with the fall of the USSR in 1990/1991. Since the independence Moldova has had quite a troublesome time. The country hasn’t had the same economic development like successful ex-soviet states such as Estonia, and Moldova is today considered to be one of Europe’s poorest countries. It’s been politically unstable as well. Just a couple of years ago, in 2009, the parliament was besieged by angry protesters. Fortunately Moldova has been spared by the type of dictatorship still present in Belarus.

Unfortunately I would have to say that Moldova is one of Europe’s most anonymous countries. A minority of people in Sweden knows the location of the country and fewer knows the name of the capital Chișinău (many people think that this is hard to pronounce). It’s sad, because I think that the country has a lot to offer, with a rich and diverse culture and history.

The Moldovan coat of arms is featured on the coin, and my favorite part of is the small cross in the eagle’s beak. The bani is the subunit of the Moldovan leu.

One last thing that I need to say about Moldova is that they always have very catchy song in the Eurovision Song Contest (a music competition with European countries represented by one song each). This song is from Moldova’s first year in the competition. In translation it’s called: Grandmamma Beats the Drum.

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Lithuania: 50 centų 2000

Following Estonia and Latvia, we now come to the third and last of the Baltic States. The centų is the subunit of the Lithuanian litas. As with many European currencies the litas was supposed to have been replaced by the euro in an earlier state, but since the economic crisis has severely damaged the union this has been moved to the future. Now the litas is set to be repaced in 2014.

Oh, and did you hear that the EU will receive the Nobel Peace Prize this year? Such a bad timing… But now I’m drawing away from the subject. Maybe I’ll write another post just concerning this prize…

The mounted horseman on the coin is from the Lithuanian coat of arms. This is the symbol used on all coins and have been used in Lithuania and the area since the 14th century. The identity of the horseman is unknown, though there seems to be a couple of theories. I would put my money on him being some sort of nobility of high importance from an early age. The cross on the knights shield is known as the Cross of Jagiellons in Lithuania and has been used by officials in Lithuania since the country was first Christianized. This also happened in the 14th century.

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Latvia: 2 Lati 1999

This is a very poetical Latvian coin. The lone cow with the clouds in the background is beautiful, almost like a miniature piece of art. It’s a very uncommon motive, but a proof that many things looks good on coins. On the other side is the coat of arms of Latvia. Esthetically it’s a very nice coin and the two different metals also contribute to this.

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