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".
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.
|Bulgarian National Bank, Catalogue of Bulgarian Coins||2004||Mint|
|Bulgarian National Bank, Catalogue of Bulgarian Coins||2004||Mintage|
|Krause, Standard Catalog of World Coins||Varieties||Proof|
|Bulgarian National Bank, Catalogue of Bulgarian Coins||2014||Design|
|Twenty Leva 1894||100,000||Prince Ferdinand I of Bulgaria||ФЕРДИНАНДЪ I. БЪЛГАРСКИЙ КНЯЗЪ|
|Twenty Leva 1912||75,000||Tsar Ferdinand I - Portrait by Marschall||ФЕРДИНАНДЪ I ЦАРЬ НА БЪЛГАРИТѢ|
|Twenty Leva 1930||10,015,982||Tsar Boris III - Portrait by Berán||БОРИСЪ III ЦАРЬ НА БЪЛГАРИТѢ|
|Twenty Leva 1940||6,650,000||Tsar Boris III - Portrait by Berán||БОРИСЪ III ЦАРЬ НА БЪЛГАРИТѢ|
|Period||First Lev (1881 - 1952)|
|Coin Type||Twenty Leva (Gold)|
|Monarch||Княз Фердинанд I (Prince Ferdinand I)|
|Effigy||Portrait by Аnton Scharff|
|Reverse||Coat of Arms of Bulgaria, 1879|
|Face Value||20 (x Lev)|
|Current||No; demonetised 1952|
|Orientation||Coin Alignment (Axis 6)|
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