By Richard Giedoryc
Bulgaria has a new ringed bimetallic 2-leva coin as of Dec. 7, with the coin planned to eventually replace the bank note of the same denomination.
According to Bulgaria National Bank information, the new coin has a copper-nickel-zinc central disc with a copper-nickel outer ring. The coin will have a weight of nine grams and a diameter of 26.5 millimeters.
This makes the coin slightly larger than is the current 1-leva coin, also a ringed bimetal issue.
There have been numerous changes in Bulgaria’s coins in recent years. Coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 stotinki were issued in 1999, with 100 stotinki equal to one lev. Bank notes were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 leva at that time. The 1-lev bank note was replaced with a coin in 2002. A 100-leva denomination bank note was added during 2003. The new 2-leva coin has been planned since late 2014.
The 2-leva bank note to be replaced depicts a vignette of Bulgarian hero Pagisios of Chiliandar (1722-1773), credited with being the catalyst towards Bulgaria’s spiritual emancipation and national re-awakening. Pagisios was a member of the Holy Orders at the Monastery of Chiliandar on Mount Athos, where he wrote the first book of modern Bulgarian letters titled Historiae Sclavo-Bulgaricus.
The back of the note depicts a vignette of a draft of this work accompanied by a listing of Bulgaria’s past rulers and the national heraldry as it appears in the Gruenberg Heraldic Compendium published in 1483.
The coin replacing this note is more modest, but retains an effigy of Pagisios on the obverse, with the denomination numeral on the reverse. The coin and bank note will continue to circulate simultaneously until the central bank announces a withdrawal date for the bank note. Two leva is equal to about $1.13 US.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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