Twenty Leva 1894, Coin from Bulgaria - detailed information

Twenty Leva 1894, Coin from Bulgaria (demonetised 1952)
CoinTwenty Leva 1894

The Lev (Bulgarian: лев, plural: лева, левове / leva, levove) is the currency of Bulgaria. In archaic Bulgarian the word "lev" meant "lion", a word which in the modern language became lăv (in Bulgarian: лъв). The lev is divided in 100 stotinki (стотинки, singular: stotinka, стотинка).

The Lev was introduced as Bulgaria's currency in 1881 with a value equal to the French Franc. The gold standard was suspended between 1899 and 1906 and suspended again in 1912. Until 1916, Bulgaria's silver and gold coins were issued to the same specifications as those of the Latin Monetary Union. Thus, a Twenty Leva coin was a high-value denomination at the time (normally served by a banknote), so not many of them were issued.

The coins have an edge inscription reading "БОЖЕ ПАЗИ БЪЛГАРИЯ", meaning "God save Bulgaria".

The 1894 issue was struck in Austria-Hungary, as part of a three-coin series including a gold 10 Leva coin, gold 20 Leva and gold 100 Leva.

Bulgaria was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire at the time, so the monarch is styled Prince and not Tsar as on his later coinage.

MintKremnitz Mint Mint MarkК.Б. Total Mintage100,000
Bulgaria / Twenty Leva 1894 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the effigy of Prince Ferdinand I of Bulgaria facing left (portrait by Аnton Scharff). The artist's initials A.S. are in small letters under the truncation of the neck.

Around, the monarch's legend in old Bulgarian orthography: ФЕРДИНАНДЪ I. БЪЛГАРСКИЙ КНЯЗЪ (Ferdinand the First, Bulgarian Prince).

Below, К.Б. - the Cyrillic script version of the K.B. mint mark of the Kremnitz Mint (abbreviated from Hungarian Körmöcz-Bánya or German Kremnitz-Bergstadt).

Bulgaria / Twenty Leva 1894 - reverse photo

At centre, the reverse of the coin depicts the small version of the Coat of Arms of Bulgaria: crowned lion rampant on an ornate shield, facing left. The shield is crowned with the large Diamond Crown of Bulgaria.

The crown originally belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette of France and was given to Princess Clémentine of Orléans as a dowry together with a golden carriage also belonging to Marie Antoinette. Both of those items ended in the possession of the Bulgarian Royal Family. The crown was modified to replace the French Fleur-de-lis to a Bulgarian ball with a cross on top.

Around above, interrupted by the cross on top of the crown, the inscription КНЯЖЕСТВО БЪЛГАРИЯ (Principality of Bulgaria).

The value and denomination 20 ЛЕВА (Twenty Leva) are divided by the Coat of Arms.

Below, the date of issue surrounded by two five-pointed stars: * 1894 *.

Reverse Inscription КНЯЖЕСТВО БЪЛГАРИЯ 20 ЛЕВА * 1894 *
EdgeInscribedEdge InscriptionБОЖЕ ПАЗИ БЪЛГАРИЯ
Twenty Leva 1894: Known varieties
Variety Proof
Mintage Issued: unknown
Twenty Leva 1894: References to Information Used
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Twenty Leva 1894: Details
PeriodFirst Lev (1881 - 1952)
Coin TypeTwenty Leva (Gold)
MonarchКняз Фердинанд I (Prince Ferdinand I)
EffigyPortrait by Аnton Scharff
ReverseCoat of Arms of Bulgaria, 1879
Face Value20 (x Lev)
Total Mintage100,000
CurrentNo; demonetised 1952
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerАnton Scharff
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size21.0000 mm
Mass6.4500 g
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Twenty Leva 1894: Photos
Twenty Leva 1894: Photo BULGARIA, Ferdinand I, twenty leva, 1894 (KM.20) / thumbnail BULGARIA, Ferdinand I, twenty leva, 1894 (KM.20)
Copyright: Noble Numismatics
Twenty Leva 1894: Photo BULGARIA, Ferdinand I, twenty leva, 1894 (KM.20) / thumbnail BULGARIA, Ferdinand I, twenty leva, 1894 (KM.20)
Copyright: Noble Numismatics
Twenty Leva 1894: Photo 1894-KB 20 leva / thumbnail 1894-KB 20 leva
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Twenty Leva 1894: Catalogue Reference IDs