The coins of the Romanian leu have changed a lot over the years, with various designs being adopted and then withdrawn over time. The latest set of leu coins was introduced in 2005, and you can find coins of the following denominations:
The 1b coin is made from brass-plated steel, giving it a slightly golden hue. It is the smallest of the coins and is actually quite rarely used due to its small value. The 5b coin is made from copper-plated steel and is a couple of millimeters larger than the 1b coin. The 10b coin is larger still and made from nickel-plated steel. Finally, the 50b coin is the largest. This coin is made from brass and there are several variants of the 50b coin in circulation at the moment.
Romanian leu coins usually feature the company's coat of arms and year of minting on one side, with the value on the other side. The 50b coins can differ from this, however, and will sometimes feature images of Romanian royalty or monuments. The 5, 10, and 50 bani coins are the most commonly used coins in Romania, and many items are priced in multiples of 10 or 5, meaning that the single ban coin is not particularly useful in most situations.
As well as coins, Romanian money also comes in note form in the following denominations:
- 1 L
- 5 L
- 10 L
- 50 L
- 100 L
- 200 L
- 500 L
Like the Romanian leu coins, the notes have changed a lot over the years, with various shapes and styles being used for different periods. Nowadays, the 500 lei note is quite rare, but the other notes are all relatively common, so you can expect to see and use most of them on a typical trip to Romania.
The notes used in Romania are actually the same size as euro notes, and Romania is in line to adopt the euro by 2024. The notes used in Romania become progressively larger as their value increases, and they feature a color-coded system to help users identify and differentiate between them.
The 1 leu note, for example, is green, while the 5 lei note is purple. The 10 L note is pink, the 50 L note is yellow, the 100 L note is blue, the 200 L note is brown, and the 500 L note is violet. Romanian notes feature the country's coat of arms, as well as various figures from Romania's past like Aurel Vlaicu and Mihau Eminescu.