The last eclipse of the previous millennium 1999 (Romanian and Turkish)

The solar eclipse of 1999 crossed Romania and Turkey as it passed to the east. Both countries issued commemorative coins for the event.

Romania also issued a series of commemorative medal to the event, consisting of five pieces. On the obverse of the first of them the Sun sits on a lion, and this makes this medal different from all other conventional designs. The legend "SOARELE CALARIND PE UN LEU, IN CALATORIA SA DIURNA (DUPA T. PAMFILE)" still to be translated, but probably a Tudor Pamfile (Romanian writer) quotation. The reverse image is made up of two halves. On the left of the Moon before the Sun, on the right an image of the building of the Romanian Athenaeum is visible. The medalist was Maximilian Fotija, whose signature (MF) is visible on the reverse.

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The second medal shows the portrait of the Romanian astronomer Nicolae Coculescu above the observatory building of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy. The revers show the eclipse path over the map of Romania.

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The third medal shows the totally eclipsed Sun hanging above the building of the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucuresti. The reverse shows the path of the eclipse in a little different way. Both the second and the third medal was designed by medalist Codrut Ciobanescu (marked as CC) the engraver of the Roman Mint.

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The fourth medal shows the portrait of the admiral Vasile Urseanu above the observatory building of Observatorul Astronomic Amiral Vasile Urseanu. The reverse is the same as in the case of the second medal. This medal and the next one was designed by medalist Vasile Gabor.

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The fifth medal shows the exact date of eclipse along with the entering and leaving time of the shadow over Romania. Interesting the the letter O of Romania is the eclipsed Sun also. The reverse is the same as in the case of the second medal. All the five medals have the same diameter 37 mm, and the weight 23-24 gram. These are made from gilt tombac, but silver sets also exist. The issue limit was 1000 for tombac and 200 for silver sets. The legend appearing an all the five medals is: "ECLIPSA TOTALÁ DE SOARE", i. e. total solar eclipse.

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Another medal, possibly a tourist souvenir was issued with the eclipsed Sun over the Bran Castle on its obverse. The castle is know as Dracula's home. On the reverse the imaginary portrait of Dracula is visible. The medalist again was Vasile Gabor, whose signature V. G is also placed on the reverse.

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Two types of cash have also been issued. The cash value of 2,000 Lei was the first European polymer "paper" money. The aluminum coin 500 Lei was also made in two versions. The coin that can be found in circulation in large amount is on the picture, but there is a less common version, where on one side you can find a picture of an observatory.

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Turkey also issued two commemorative coins each worth 4 million liras. On the first a group of people watching and monitoring eclipse's totality phase.

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On the top of the second coin the different phases of the eclipse, on the bottom the map of Turkey with major cities with names that falling in the path of the eclipse are visible.

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The path of totality through Romania and Turkey during the total solar eclipse 11 August 1999