Moldova is an Eastern European country and a former Soviet republic. Its official currency is the Moldovan leu (MDL). The Moldovan leu (plural: lei) is subdivided into 100 bani (singular: ban). The currency's name originates from a Romanian word that means "lion". When Moldova was part of Romania between 1918 and 1940, and 1941 and 1944, the Romanian leu was used in the old eastern part of the broader Romanian region of Moldavia. On 29 November 1993, the currency was established after the Soviet Union collapsed and the independent republic of Moldova was created replacing the temporary cupon currency at a rate of 1 leu = 1000 cupon.
The f Moldovan leu banknotes had been in two series. The first series was momentary and included only 1, 5, and 10 lei. The front of all of these notes including the subsequent ones features a portrait of Ștefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great), the prince of Moldavia from 1457 to 1504. The back features the first two lines of the Miorița (The Little Ewe) ballad, printed vertically between the vignette of the fortress and the denomination numeral. The Miorița is an ancient Romanian pastoral ballad viewed as one of the most valuable pieces of Romanian folklore.