In 2016 the Bulgarian Railroads are officially a 150 years old. To mark this event the National Bank of Bulgaria is issuing a special silver commemorative 10 Lev coin.
After the conclusion of the Crimean war in 1856 the economic and technological advancement of the Ottoman Empire become of even greater concern to the Sultan. Sultan Abdülaziz wasted no time intensifying processes that begun under his brother, Abdülmecid I, to bring the Ottoman Empire into the industrial age. Barely two months after his reign began in 1861 he ordered a Firma(Royal Decree) that the first railroad be constructed between Ruse and Verna(Located in modern day Bulgaria). The 224km(139 mile) long railroad was opened on 26 October 1866 with ten stations located at Ruse, Chervena Voda, Vetovo, Razgrad, Yasenovets, Kamenyak, Kaspichan, Proadia, Beloslav and Varna.
The “150 Years since the First Railroad in Bulgaria: Ruse – Varna” coin commemorates the opening of the first railroad in Bulgarian history. Over the years that railroad was expanded and upgraded and today stretches over 4023km(2500mile) covering 111 000square kilometers(43 000 square miles).
The reverse design of the coin is anchored by an image of a steam locomotive rolling into a train station, with train cars being pulled behind it. At the bottom, slightly to the left, appears the text “150 ГОДИНИ” or “150 YEARS”. To the top, in a semi circle along the rim, appears the words : “ПЪРВА ЖЕЛЕЗОПЪТНА ЛИНИЯ В БЪЛГАРИЯ” and “РУСЕ – ВАРНА”. This translates as : “THE FIRST RAILROAD IN BULGARIA” and “RUSE – VARNA”.
The obverse of the coin itself features the Bulgarian National Bank's logo at the centre, slightly offset to the top of the coin. The denomination of “10 ЛЕВА” or “10 LEVS” appears just below the logo, with the date of issue of 2016 at the bottom. The top part of the obverse legend reads : “БЪЛГАРСКА НАРОДНА БАНКА”, which means Bulgarian National Bank in English.
The 38.61mm(1.52 inch) coin is struck from sterling silver(.925 Fineness) and weighs 23.33gram. The coin, which was designed by Bulgarian sculptor Todor Todorov, will have a limited mintage of 3000 coins in a proof mintage. The coin can be ordered directly from the Bulgarian Mint for 66 Levs(US$38.00).