Bulgaria 1894-KB 5 leva

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CNG Lissner sale, lot 58

Bulgaria fought a protracted war against the Ottomans, culminating in liberation from the latter's rule in 1878. The new Bulgarian state was quite weak, however, and new conflicts drew it into the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, along with Serbia and Greece, once again against the Ottomans in Turkey. This specimen was lot 58 in Classical Numismatic Group's sale of the Lissner Collection (Chicago, August 2014), where it sold for $33,275. The catalog description[1] noted, "BULGARIA, Principality. Ferdinand I. 1887-1908. Proof AR 5 Leva. Körmöcbánya (Kremnitz) mint. Dated 1894 KB. In NGC encapsulation graded PF 67. Gem mottled toned proof with beautiful iridescence. Of the highest rarity and the only proof of this date ever certified by NGC. Purchased from M. Louis Teller, October 1981." This specimen sold for nineteen times the catalog value for a proof. It was struck in Hungary.

Recorded mintage: 1,001,375 plus proofs.

Specification: 25 g, .835 fine silver, this specimen Ø37 mm, 25.03 g, 12h axis.

Catalog reference: KM 18; Y 159, Dav-61.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns and Talers, Since 1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
  • [1]Teller, M. Louis, and Victor England, Jr., The Richard Lissner Collection, Lancaster, PA: Classical Numismatic Group, 2014.

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