Moldova is situated in the northeastern part of the Balkan region. Its capital is Chisinau, which is located in the central part of the country. It is a lower-income region with one of the smallest European economies.
However, during the past decades, Moldova has done many efforts to defeat poverty and develop the economy according to European standards. The annual economic growth equals 5%, which derives from local consumption as well as transactions from abroad. According to the World Bank, almost 25% of Moldovan GDP makes up money transfers. The reason is rather simple – many locals work and live abroad sending money to their families. In 2014 Moldova has signed a free trade agreement with the European Union, which is rather beneficial for creating tighter trading bonds with other regions.
The official currency of Moldova is called the Moldovan Leu (MDL). The government agency responsible for production, circuit, and security of the currency is called the National Bank. It is answerable only to Moldovan Parliament.
Moldovan Leu origin
In the period of 1918-1944, Moldova was a part of Romania, so the local currency called Romanian Leu was recognized. On November 29, 1993, Moldova has gained its independence due to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Roman Leu was replaced by the coupons but it was soon changed for the Moldovan Leu at a huge rate (1Leu equaled 1,000 coupons).
Transnistria, a region that seeks independence from the Republic of Moldova, doesn’t use Moldovan Leu and its official currency is the Transnistrian Ruble. By the way, this territory isn’t recognized by international institutions, including the UN, the World Bank, and the IMF.
Moldovan Leu coins and banknotes
Like most of the world currencies, Moldovan Leu is presented with coins and banknotes. They can be used ubiquitously including online payments with Moldovan Leu at online iGaming sites and other kinds of transactions.
Moldovan Leu equals 100 Bani (cents). When this currency was first introduced back in November 1993, coins were minted of aluminum and were present in such denominations as 1,5,10,25, and 50 cents. There were also present coins out of nickel-plated steel in 1 and 5 Leu denominations. Soon 50 cent coins, as well as 1 and 5 Leu coins were removed and already in 1998 a new brass-clad steel of a 50-cent denomination was introduced.
Coins of 1 and 5 Leu denominations weren’t introduced back but they can still be used for transactions (even though it’s rather difficult to find them). Beginning with 1997, the National Bank of Moldova has issued a few commemorative coins but they can be used only for collecting not transactions.
In Moldova, you can find not only coins but also banknotes. They came in two series. The first was represented with such denominations as 1, 5, and 10 Leu. But they didn’t last long. The second series that is used today has such denominations as 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Leu. The obverse side of the currency contains portraits of Stefan Cel Mare, the prince of Moldova (1457 – 1504).
Moldova on the global arena
There are 65 countries situated in Europe and Moldova is one of them. It may not have the biggest territory or the strongest economy but its history, traditions, and customs are worth our attention. And there is no better way to learn about them than to find out more about the evolution of its national currency.