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    1944 Liberation of Transylvania gold medal

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    On 22 December 1944, King Mihai of Romania sanctioned the law no. 656 and the decree no. 2510 that authorised the issue of a gold medal commemorating the liberation of Northern Transylvania in the autumn of 1944. The medal was also issued as a political declaration since at that date Transylvania was still under soviet military occupation (the return of the Romanian administration was conditioned by the installation of a communist government, which took place in March 1945 when the Romanian politicians realised that the western allies completely abandoned Romania into the hands of the soviets).

    The medal followed the general specifications of the traditional 20 lei gold coin of Romania, but with a small difference in weight. It thus conformed to an internationally recognised standard of coins. However, lacking a face value allowed the medal to be collected as a work of art, thus being exempted from the interdiction to hoard gold as circulating coins. The possession of these medals was however strictly forbidden during the communist regime.

    On the obverse of the medal there are the effigies of Prince Michael the Brave, King Ferdinand and King Mihai surrounded by the text ARDEALUL NOSTRU ("OUR TRANSYLVANIA") and the key dates 1601, 1918 and 1944. On the reverse there is the crowned head of the Romanian eagle surrounded by the crests of the 11 counties in Northern Transylvania. The medal was minted in 1 million pieces. It is estimated that about 150000 pieces are still in the vaults of the Romanian National Bank.


    Image source: Romanian Coins

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