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Category: World Coins

ALBANIA, 1/2 LEK, 1930-V

W033

Nickel, Fine

24 mm (15/16”), ~11 grams

HISTORY: 50 qindarka = 1/2 lek (qind means 100, or cent, so 1/2 lek is equivalent to 1/2 dollar). This 1/2-lek design was only minted in 1930 and 1931, with a total mintage of 500,000 for 1930. The 1/2 lek was demonitized in 1940.

OBVERSE: The Albanian coat of arms is framed by open drapes. Tying the drapes together at the top is the helmet of Skanderbeg, surmounted with billy goats’ horns. “SHQIPNI” is the spelling of Albania. Below the drapery is the date “1930.”

REVERSE: Giuseppe Romagnoli (1872‒1966), designer and sculptor of this coin, chose a theme of Hercules wrestling the monster lion of Nemea whom no mortal could subdue. This was Hercules’s first labor of the 12 he had yet to endure. To the outside left of Hercules’s knees is the letter “V” and below, along the rim, is the signature “G. ROMAGNOLI.” Romagnoli was the designer of many Albanian coins (see also W006). Right of the lion is the lettering “1/2 LEK.”

EDGE: Smooth.