Romania first issued a polymer note in 1999 and by late 2001 became the third country after Australia and New Zealand to fully convert to polymer with notes of 2.000, 10.000, 50.000, 100.000 and 500.000 Lei. On 5 December, 2003 a light blue 1.000.000 Lei note appeared to complement this already colourful series.
Its theme is the arts and features a portrait of playwright Ion Luca Caragiale who lived from 1852 to 1912. One of Romania’s foremost playwrights, Caragiale had a checkered career. Commencing work as a journalist he obviously enjoyed the arts and devoted his spare time to writing comedies and dramas which were widely acclaimed.
His works did not support him and held the senior positions with the State. In 1901 he is accused of plagiarism and whilst acquitted a stigma seems to stick. Doors close on him and Caragiale sees out his days in self imposed exile in Berlin.
A bloom of the violet (other polymers also feature flowers) and theatrical masques, one of them depicting comedy, complete the main design features on the front of this note.
The former National Theatre in Bucharest, a statue of Caragalie and the masque of tragedy are the primary design elements of the back.
For Romania’s highest denomination, it is no surprise that sophisticated security features are utilised.