Euro coins

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The euro coins
BelgiumBelgium Belgium
GermanyGermany Germany
EstoniaEstonia Estonia
FinlandFinland Finland
FranceFrance France
GreeceGreece Greece
IrelandIreland Ireland
ItalyItaly Italy
LatviaLatvia Latvia
LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg
MaltaMalta Malta
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands
AustriaAustria Austria
PortugalPortugal Portugal
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia
SpainSpain Spain
Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus Cyprus
Associated euro users
(with their own euro coins)
AndorraAndorra Andorra
MonacoMonaco Monaco
San MarinoSan Marino San Marino
Vatican cityVatican Vatican city
Passive euro users
(without their own euro coins)
KosovoKosovo Kosovo
MontenegroMontenegro Montenegro
Possible future euro states
BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria
CroatiaCroatia Croatia
PolandPoland Poland
RomaniaRomania Romania
SwedenSweden Sweden
Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic
HungaryHungary Hungary
Exit clause
DenmarkDenmark Denmark

The euro coins are in currently 19 countries in the European Union EU countries Non-as well as Andorra , Monaco , San Marino and Vatican City in circulation brought coins of the common European currency Euro . One euro is divided into 100 cents; there are eight denominations for coins.

The euro coins were introduced together with the euro banknotes from January 1, 2002. However, the year of minting of the coins can go back to 1999, i.e. to the year in which the currency was officially introduced as book money .


Parameters of the euro coins
image value diameter thickness Dimensions Knurling
(for the visually impaired )
material ferromagnetic
1 cent 1 cent 16.25 mm 1.67 mm 2.30 g smooth Steel with copper sheathing
(94.35% Fe, 5.65% Cu)
2 cents 2 cents 18.75 mm 1.67 mm 3.06 g smooth with all-round notch
5 cents 5 cents 21.25 mm 1.67 mm 3.92 g smooth
10 cents 10 cents 19.75 mm 1.93 mm 4.10 g coarse corrugation
(40 corrugations)
Nordic gold
(89% Cu, 5% Al, 5% Zn, 1% Sn)

Density: 7.01 g / cm³

20 cents 20 cents 22.25 mm 2.14 mm 5.74 g Spanish flower
(smooth with 7 notches)
50 cents 50 cents 24.25 mm 2.38 mm 7.80 g coarse corrugation
(50 corrugations)
1 € 1 € 23.25 mm 2.33 mm 7.50 g broken corrugation
(3 × 29 corrugation)

Ring: nickel - brass
(75% Cu, 20% Zn, 5% Ni)
core: copper-nickel, nickel, copper-nickel layered ( Magnimat )

Ring: no
Core: yes
2 euros 2 euros 25.75 mm 2.20 mm 8.50 g fine corrugation with lettering
(252 corrugation)

Ring: Cupronickel
(75% Cu, 25% Ni)
Core: Nickel-brass, nickel, nickel-brass layered

What the 1 and 2 euro coins have in common is a structure made up of a ring and a core (also a pill ). Before minting, one also speaks of blanks and blanks . In the case of the 1 euro piece, the ferromagnetic nickel of the pill is coated with copper-nickel , in the case of the 2 euro piece with nickel brass .

The choice of coin metal was a matter of convenience and cost. In particular, coin alloys must not be sensitive to rust and should not wear out much during use; In addition, skin contact should not trigger allergies. It is also important that the metal value remains below the nominal value of the coin - otherwise there would be a risk that the coins would be melted down and traded as goods.

In 2004, the production costs of a 1 cent coin corresponded to the face value. In contrast, the production costs of a 2 euro coin in Germany at the time were only 13 cents. The difference to the nominal value, called seigniorage , benefits the respective central bank .

Due to their nickel content, euro coins have a high allergy potential . The bimetallic structure of 1 and 2 euro coins leads to a galvanic potential of 30–40 mV on contact with human sweat. This means that the limit values ​​of the European Directive 94/27 / EEC for nickel can be exceeded by up to 320 times.

According to estimates by allergists , up to eleven percent of women and six percent of men in Germany suffer from a nickel allergy . If they come into contact with the metal for a longer period of time, the skin reddens, itches and forms blisters. According to the Medical Association of German Allergists, cashiers and bank employees have a significantly increased risk of allergies.

Mints, mint masters

Euro coins were and are minted in the following mints and with these mint marks (Mzz):

country time Mint Location Mint mark comment
Belgium 1999 to 2018 Royal Mint of Belgium Brussels from 2008: helmeted head of the Archangel Michael the Royal Mint of Belgium closed on January 1, 2018
Germany since 1999 State Mint Berlin Berlin A. also for Estonia (2 euro commemorative coin 2012)
since 1998 Hamburg Mint Hamburg J
since 1999 State Mint Karlsruhe Karlsruhe G also for Latvia (1 and 10 cents and 1 euro 2014)
since 1998 Bavarian main mint Munich D. also for Ireland (commemorative coin 2019 in proof)
since 1999 State Mint Stuttgart Stuttgart F. also for Latvia (2, 5, 20 and 50 cents and 2 euros 2014) and commemorative coins 2014 and 2015
Finland since 1999 Suomen Rahapaja Vantaa until 2006: without
2007–2010: cornucopia
from 2010/11: lion
also for Greece (1 and 2 Euro 2002 "S"), Luxembourg (2005), Ireland (PP 2006 and 2007), Slovenia (commemorative coins 2007, 2009-2011), Cyprus (2008 and circulation coins 2009) and Estonia (2011)
France since 1999 Monnaie de Paris Pessac cornucopia also for Monaco, Greece (1, 2, 5, 10, 50 Cent 2002 "F"), Ireland (2007 1 Cent), Luxembourg (2007, 2008), Malta 2015 ("F") and 2016, Andorra (coin issues odd Years)
Greece since 2001 Greek
national coin
Chalandri ( Athens ) Palmette apart from a part of the circulation coins 2002
also for Cyprus (from 2010 and cash commemorative coin 2012)
Ireland since 1999 Central Bank of Ireland Sandyford ( Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown ) without except 1 and 5 cents 2002 and 1 cent 2007,
PP 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012 and 2 euro commemorative coins 2007 and 2012
Italy since 1999 Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato Rome R. also for San Marino and Vatican City and 2015 for Slovenia (EU flag)
Lithuania since 2015 Lietuvos monetų kalykla Vilnius LM (in a circle) also for Estonia (commemorative coins 2015 and 2016)
Netherlands since 1999 Royal Dutch coin Utrecht Caduceus also for Luxembourg (until 2004, 2006 and from 2009), Slovenia 2008 (Trubar) and 2014 (Celjska), Cyprus 2009 (EMU), Ireland (PP and 2-euro commemorative coins 2009 and 2012), Estonia (circulation coins 2012), Belgium (from 2018) and Latvia (commemorative coin 2019)
Austria since 1999 Austrian Mint Vienna without also for Cyprus 2015 (EU flag) and Ireland (proof of commemorative coins 2015 and 2016)
Portugal since 1999 Imprensa Nacional e Casa da Moeda Lisbon INCM
Slovakia since 2008 Mincovňa Kremnica Kremnica MK (in a circle) also for Slovenia (2012 and 2013)
Spain since 1999 Real Casa de la Moneda Madrid crowned M also for Greece (20 Cent 2002 "E") and Andorra (coin issues of even years)
United Kingdom Royal Mint Llantrisant
( Rhondda Cynon Taf )
for Ireland: 1 and 5 cents 2002

Euro coins were and are minted with the following mint master's mark (Mmz):

country Mint Location time Mintmaster's mark Mint master
Belgium Royal Mint of Belgium Brussels 1999–2008
2017 1
coat of arms of the municipality of Herzele
Romain Coenen
Serge reading
Bernard Gillard
Ingrid Van Herzele
France Monnaie de Paris Pessac 1999–2000
from 2011
heart (ligature from S and L) Hunting
horn (with zodiac sign Pisces)
pentagram with AGMP, YS
Pierre Rodier
Gérard Burqoy
Serge Levet
Hubert Larivière
Yves Sampo
Netherlands Royal Dutch coin Utrecht 1999
from 2018
and arrow Bow and arrow with star
Fruit-bearing vine
tendril Fruit-bearing vine tendril with star
Course-setting sails (of the three-mast clipper Nederland )
Course-setting sails with star
Sint Servaas Bridge, Maastricht
Chris van Draanen
vacancy under Erik van Schouwenburg
Robert Bruens
vacancy under Maarten Brouwer
Maarten Brouwer
vacancy under Kees Bruinsma or Ted Peters
Stephan Satijn
1 Belgian euro coins will be minted in the Netherlands from 2018 to 2021, in 2018 with Mmz Ingrid Van Herzeles

Mint master marks are to be distinguished from coin signatures which designate the coin designer or the coin engraver .

Devaluation, scrapping

Between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2011, mostly from flight attendants, coins with a face value of EUR 866,000 were returned to the Bundesbank with a request for confiscation and replacement. Most of the coins came from France, Belgium, Austria or Spain and had been canceled by separating coins by or on behalf of European central banks, resold as scrap metal and subsequently reassembled in China without authorization. The allegation of procuring and placing counterfeit money on the market did not stand before the Federal Court of Justice. Since the coins were posted outside of general payment transactions, there was no risk of them being put back into circulation, as they were not only not only recognisably put together incorrectly, but were also badly damaged and therefore no longer fit for circulation. Over a period of more than a year, the Deutsche Bundesbank accepted several hundred transparent “Safebags” with such coins without any complaints and reimbursed their face value. This practice of the Bundesbank speaks against the assumption that the official devaluation of bicolour coins takes place by way of the separation of ring and pill. The criminal chamber was unable to gain any information about the cancellation process for euro coins in other euro countries, as all inquiries from the investigative authorities to the respective central banks of France, Belgium, Austria and Spain went unanswered.

Counterfeiting of coins, supply of cash

Despite their high technical quality, euro coins are also counterfeited. The large number of production locations and carrier materials increases the risk that secret information relating to security features falls into the wrong hands. On 22 July 1998 the Commission called for the early establishment of a harmonized legal framework and the establishment of an EU counterfeit database maintained by the ECB. In October 1998 it was agreed to supplement this with a database on counterfeiting. On February 3, 1999, the Economic and Financial Committee decided on the Counterfeit Organization and Investigation Network / COIN plan to establish a European Technical and Scientific Center (ETSC ) to analyze and classify all counterfeits of euros detected worldwide -Coins as well as national coin analysis centers to record all cases of counterfeiting occurring in their national territory. The Justice and Home Affairs Council (JAI) decided on 29 April 1999 to extend Europol's remit to include the fight against counterfeiting.

In 2012, according to the ECB, around 184,000 counterfeit coins were withdrawn from circulation. So there was one forgery for every 100,000 genuine coins. The 2 euro coin makes up almost two thirds of all counterfeit coins discovered. In 2013, the Deutsche Bundesbank registered around 52,000 counterfeit coins. At the beginning of December 2014, 306,000 fake one-euro and two-euro coins produced in China with a total face value of 556,000 euros were seized in Italy.

The Cash Verification Ordinance , which came into force in Germany on January 1, 2013 and was enacted on the basis of an EU ordinance laying down measures to protect the euro against counterfeiting, stipulates that banks must also check coins for counterfeiting or have them checked, just like it did was previously required for banknotes. During a transition period, banking institutions could still use their old machines to deposit coins. From the beginning of 2015 only certified devices will be permitted. A new "conveyor belt" that collects, sorts and checks coins for authenticity costs 200,000 euros. Accordingly, delegate z. B. Sparkassen counting and checking coins at cash-in-transit companies, and customers - such as merchants who deliver their daily income - then have to pay a fee of five euros for each coin deposit.

The background to this is that the Deutsche Bundesbank is withdrawing more and more from the supply of hard money. In 2000 shops were able to deposit their income in 129 branches of the state central banks; but three quarters of them are now closed. In 2015, their number fell to 34 branches. Banks no longer get coins from the Bundesbank in small denominations, but only in the form of a 700 kg container.

Amount of euro coins in circulation (as of December 2017)
Face value Amount in circulation proportion of Circulation value Share in value
01 cent 034,213 million 27.1% 00.€ 342 million 01.2%
02 cents 026,291 million 20.9% 00.€ 526 million 01.9%
05 cents 020,314 million 16.1% 0€ 1,016 million 03.6%
10 cents 014,627 million 11.6% 0€ 1,463 million 05.2%
20 cents 011,209 million 08.9% 0€ 2,242 million 08.0%
50 cents 006,104 million 04.8% 0€ 3,052 million 10.9%
01 € 007,207 million 05.7% 0€ 7,207 million 25.7%
02 euros 006,080 million 04.8% € 12,160 million 43.4%
All in all 126,046 million 100% € 28,006 million 100%

Cash in circulation

In December 2017, around 126 billion euro coins with a total value of around 28 billion euros were in circulation. The circulation value of each coin type increases with its face value: 1% of the circulation value of all coins is in the 1-cent coins, 2% in the 2-cent coins, 4% in the 5-cent coins, 5% in the 10 Cent coins, 8% in 20-cent coins, 11% in 50-cent coins, 26% in 1-euro and 43% in 2-euro coins (with a total value of around 28 billion euros). Euro). In terms of number of items, however, the smaller the face value, the more numerous the coins are in circulation; only 1 euro coins are slightly more common than 50 cent coins. There are 34 billion 1-cent coins in circulation, but only a good 6 billion 2-euro coins.

Compared to the euro banknotes , the coins only make up 2.5% of the total currency in circulation of 1,198.706 billion euros. However, the amounts in circulation of the individual banknotes are lower.

Circulation coins of the micro-states

Among other things, the Council decided: “ Monaco , San Marino and Vatican City [...] can mint euro coins under certain conditions. To this end, France ( for Monaco ) and Italy (for the Vatican and San Marino ) are empowered by the Council to negotiate and conclude the agreement on behalf of the Community. ”On 14 July 2009, the Commission reported to the Council on the Currency agreements with the small states. It states:

  • Euro coins intended for circulation are primarily a means of payment: they should circulate freely on the market and be used as a means of payment. Circulation coins bought by coin collectors do not serve their original purpose, but are only regarded as collector's items.
  • For historical reasons, the upper limit in terms of value for the annual issue of euro coins was set differently. Monaco was able to issue euro coins with a face value of EUR 221,000 in 2009, while San Marino had an upper limit of EUR 2,183,000 in 2009 and the Vatican City of EUR 1,074,000.
  • In the period from 2000 to 2008, the mint circulation in the euro area member states averaged EUR 63 per capita, while by September 2008 coins from Monaco to the value of EUR 190 per inhabitant, from San Marino to EUR 422 and from the Vatican coins to EUR 7,028 per inhabitant were spent.
  • In order to allow at least some circulation of the coins of the three countries, the Commission proposes to increase the mint circulation limits of the three countries that have signed a currency agreement. The new ceilings would be calculated according to a new, uniform procedure that ensures that all three countries are treated equally. The previous currency agreements led de facto to a disadvantage of Monaco compared to San Marino and Vatican City. Currently, San Marino issues around ten times as many coins and Vatican City around five times as many coins as Monaco, although Monaco has the largest population of the three countries and its currency agreement contains the most far-reaching obligations.

According to the new calculation method, the upper limit for one year (s) would consist of a fixed and a variable component:

  • The fixed component serves to meet the demand from coin collectors. Estimates assume that a total value of around 2,100,000 euros should be enough to meet the demand of the collector's market.
  • The variable component is based on the average per capita expenditure in the euro area. The average number of coins minted per capita in the previous year ( n −1) in the euro area is multiplied by the number of inhabitants of a country that has signed a currency agreement.

With the new calculation method decided in this way, the upper limit for the mint circulation in Vatican City increased to EUR 2,300,000 in 2010, that of Monaco to EUR 2,340,000 in 2012 and that of San Marino to EUR 2,600,000 in 2013.

On April 1, 2012, a currency agreement with another European mini-state , Andorra , came into force. On December 29, 2014, Andorra began to issue its own euro coins .

The current currency agreements concluded between 2011 and 2012 with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino provide that at least 80% of the coins in circulation are issued at face value. Only in the agreement with Vatican City, which was reached on December 17, 2009, is a lower quota, at least 51%, stipulated.

Elimination of 1 and 2 cent coins

In some euro countries, the issue of 1 and 2 cent coins has been completely stopped:

  • Finland : since the introduction of euro cash on January 1, 2002, minting for collectors only
  • Netherlands : since September 1, 2004, minting for collectors only
  • Belgium : Dealers have been able to round prices since October 1, 2014, but must indicate this with a pictogram.
  • Ireland : since October 28, 2015
  • Italy : since January 1, 2018

While the awarded prices can still be accurate to 1 cent, the total amounts then to be paid in cash at the till are rounded to the nearest amount divisible by 5 cents, i.e. H. Amounts that end in 1, 2, 6 or 7 cents are rounded down, amounts that end in 3, 4, 8 or 9 cents are rounded up.

Since the 1 and 2 cent coins are legal tender throughout the European monetary union, they have to be accepted by dealers.

The production of the euro coins is a matter for the individual member states. Since the decisions are made decentrally, there is no coordinated production and / or storage, so that efficiency gains from a combination are lost. It is possible for some countries to have additional euro coins minted, while other countries have excess stocks of this face value. It is therefore a good idea to look for ways to improve the smaller denominations (1, 2 and 5 cents), which on average account for around 80% of new coin production. Compared to their face value, they generate little or no monetary income, but cause high production and transport costs. Since different national sides restrict the exchange or transfer of coin stocks between countries and prevent increased efficiency in the production of larger quantities, a “standard side” instead of the national side could cover part of the demand for the three smallest coin denominations.

A recommendation by the Commission of March 22, 2010 on the scope and effects of the status of euro banknotes and coins as legal tender reads under Article 9: Status of 1 and 2 euro cent coins as legal tender and Rounding rules: In those member states where rounding rules have been adopted and prices are consequently rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents, 1 and 2 euro cent coins should continue to be legal tender and be accepted as such. However, Member States should not adopt any new rounding rules as this will affect the discharge of a payment obligation by paying the exact amount owed and, in some cases, may result in a surcharge for cash payments.

On July 4, 2012, a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council determined that the Commission should carry out an impact assessment on the continued issuance of 1 and 2 cent coins. The EU Commission then made proposals on May 14, 2013 for a reduction or abolition of the 1 and 2 cent coins. Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn stated that the cost of producing and issuing these coins exceeded their value. At the same time, the central banks would have to issue a particularly large number of these coins. A total of 45.8 billion such tiny coins have been put into circulation in the past eleven years. The issuance of the small coins has cost the euro states around 1.4 billion euros since the common currency was launched in 2002. The cost of the cent coins could be reduced through a different mix of materials or a more efficient minting process.

When euro cash was introduced in January 2002, 1 and 2 cent coins accounted for 31.2% of the coins in circulation, compared to 48.1% in April 2017. According to Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele , the well above-average small coin production is due to the fact that around three quarters of small coins are lost or hoarded. At most every fifth 1-cent coin and every fourth 2-cent coin is used in cash.

In 2018, Estonia is also discussing reducing the use of 1 and 2 cent coins in the future.

Coin images and design guidelines

Deviating from the designation customary in numismatics , the official EU correspondence refers to the value side as the front and the image side as the back. The terms used here are based on those used by the EU. In Regulation 729/2014, the EU defines the terms "circulation coins", "commemorative coins" and "regular coins" (instead of the term "circulation coins" used here).

Common obverse of the coins

All euro coins have common fronts that indicate the value of the coin. They were designed by the winner of the competition on this design topic, the Belgian designer Luc Luycx , whose signet "LL" is embossed. In late 1997, Luc Luycx made various changes to his coin designs. This was intended to take account of the requests made by some Member States to improve the quality of the geographical representation: Luxembourg was on the 1 and 2 euro coins, Portugal was not on the 2 euro coins, Denmark brought its own Surprised that the island of Funen was marked on some coins as part of the mainland, Greece considered the coastline of the Peloponnese to be wrong on the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and wanted Crete to be shown on the 1 and 2 euro coins, Sweden wanted the island of Gotland , Finland the Åland Islands and the United Kingdom the Hebrides , the shape of Germany was not correctly reproduced on the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, and there was no border between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and between Spain and Portugal, and the Spanish made a point of seeing the Canary Islands depicted. In order to be able to measure the applications against objective criteria, it was decided to only consider islands of over 2500 km² and island groups of over 5000 km².

The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins, unchanged since the minting year 1999, depict the northern hemisphere with the eastern Mediterranean in the center, i.e. Europe as a continent in the vicinity of Asia and Africa. The 15 states that formed the EU at the time are presented in a structured manner. On the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins up to 2007, the individual EU states can be seen like singular pieces of the puzzle; however, the enlargement of the European Union in 2004 was not taken into account in subsequent coins. EU members not participating in the euro, e.g. B. the United Kingdom are shown. The 1 and 2 euro coins up to 2007 show the structure of the EU countries before the first eastward expansion. From 2007 onwards, Europe was depicted as a whole on the 10, 20 and 50 cent, as well as the 1 and 2 euro coins, without national borders (see the redesign section below ). All coins also show twelve stars as a symbol of Europe (see also: Symbolism of the European flag ).

Common obverse - minting years from 1999:
1 cent 2 cents 5 cents
Common obverse - embossed years 1999 to 2006/2007:
10 cents 20 cents 50 cents
1 € 2 euros

Revised common front

Common obverse - minting years from 2007:
10 cents 20 cents 50 cents
1 € 2 euros
50 cent coins before and after 2007

With the introduction of the euro on January 1, 2007 in Slovenia, the common obverse of the coins was redesigned. Instead of the 15 old member states of the European Union as before, the revised coins show the geographical outlines of Europe. In the general overview, Iceland was left out, Cyprus was not shown according to the actual situation (like the Canary Islands , which - as before - are positioned south of the Iberian Peninsula) and only part of Finland in the 1 and 2 euro coins shown. The 1 and 2 euro coins as well as the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins do not show national borders. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins have not been changed, although only the national territory of the first 15 EU members is marked on the globe shown. Most euro countries started with the introduction of the new front in 2007. In Italy, Austria, Portugal, San Marino and in the Vatican City the new front was only introduced in 2008.

Euro circulation coins 1999–2017

National reverse side of the coins

The euro was introduced on January 1, 1999 as book money , three years later as cash . As early as 1998, the minting of euro coins began in Germany, although up to and including the minting year 2001 they indicated the year of issue 2002. Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican City as well as Greece, which joined the euro zone in 2001 , also named the year 2002 on their first euro coins minted before 2002. The first euro coins from Belgium, Finland, France and the Netherlands and Spain, on the other hand, named the minting years 1999 to 2001, the Monacos 2001. Belgium, Monaco, the Netherlands and Spain thus avoided the risk of mentioning on the coins the year of issue in the future at the time of minting, in which the depicted head of state might be could no longer be in office. Apparently, Luxembourg and the Vatican City did not shy away from this risk.

Although 19 EU countries have been participating in the monetary union since the beginning of 2015, there are coin sets from 23 different countries.

In Andorra , which is associated with the euro zone by currency agreement, the euro has been legal tender since April 1, 2012; however, its own euro coins were only issued at the turn of the year 2014/2015. Monaco , San Marino and the Vatican City are also not EU members, but were in monetary union with France and Italy before the introduction of the euro due to currency agreements . It was therefore considered necessary to replace the respective currency agreements with new bilateral agreements with the European Union, which grant these miniature states the right to mint their own euro coins.

Each country participating in the euro has its own design of the back. All coins show the year and the twelve stars of the EU flag on this side.

The national pages are described in separate articles:

Design guidelines

The recommendation of the Commission of the European Communities of September 29, 2003 on a uniform approach to changes in the design of the national reverse sides of the euro coins provided for a moratorium on changes to the coin images of the national reverse side of the euro and cent coins in circulation. These were to remain unchanged until the end of 2008, unless the head of state depicted on the coin was replaced. It was only stipulated that “the design of the coin should be bordered by twelve stars on the national side and show a year”. This gave the national coin designers a wide scope. For example, the twelve stars were not always placed at the same distance on the edge of the coin, but rather, for example, arranged close together in groups so that space was kept free for the coin motif or the lettering. The 2-euro commemorative coins of the German federal series could therefore bear the designation "Federal Republic of Germany" on the ring.

It changed when new guidelines were issued on December 19, 2008, stating that the national motif as well as the year and the clearly indicated and easily recognizable full or abbreviated name of the issuing country of the twelve European coins were issued on the national side of euro coins Stars should be outlined. The stars should be arranged like on the European flag. The denomination of the coin or the currency denomination or their subdivision on the national side should not be repeated, unless a different writing system than Latin is used in the country concerned. The issuing countries should be able to adapt their national sides of the euro coins to the design guidelines, otherwise the motifs should not be changed unless the head of state depicted or named on the coin has changed. If the head of state leaves office (e.g. through death or resignation), the coins can be redesigned immediately. However, it is no longer permitted to issue a separate set of coins for the period between the departure of the old head of state and the appointment of the new one (as happened in 2005 in Vatican City , during the vacancy after the death of Pope John Paul II ). Issuing states should be allowed to update coin designs depicting the head of state every fifteen years to reflect changes in the appearance of the head of state.

These guidelines prescribe the circular arrangement of the twelve stars at 30 ° intervals, like the placement of the hour digits on a clock. The ratio of the size of a star to the radius of the circle on which the center points of the stars lie, given by the European flag, cannot be strictly adhered to on the coins - the stars would then be significantly larger than the embossable part of the 2 euro coins of the ring.

The z. For example, the representation chosen by Germany in 2013 (for the Baden-Württemberg commemorative coin), in which the stars fill the ring as large as possible, comes closest to the appearance of the European flag. The z. For example, the representation chosen by the Netherlands in 2014 (farewell party for Beatrix) with significantly smaller stars moved to the outer edge and also structured shows that these guidelines still offer scope.

The design guidelines are partially not complied with. The representation of the - stylized - country code RF on the French commemorative coin 2012/2 and the FI on the Finnish commemorative coin 2013/2 are neither clearly nor easily recognizable. The Luxembourg commemorative coin 2014/2 does not even identify the issuing country with a country code.


The national sides of the currency coins of several euro countries do not correspond to the design guidelines issued in 2008. The coins of Austria show the respective face value in words or numbers as well as the indication EURO CENT or EURO , furthermore - as with the German and Greek coins - the country designation is missing. In the case of the first series of minted coins from the Netherlands (1999–2013), the country name and the year were not framed by the twelve European stars and the stars were not arranged as on the European flag. The same applies to the Luxembourg cent coins. In the case of Slovenian currency coins, the country name and the year are also not surrounded by the European stars and the 10-cent coin does not show the stars as it does on the European flag. The latter also applies to the Italian 2 cent coin.

The previous euro countries do not, however, have to adapt the presentation of their currency coins to the design guidelines immediately; a deadline for revision was not specified in the 2008 guidelines. Finland began the redesign in 2007, Belgium followed in 2008 and Spain in 2010. Dimensions , weight and other technical specifications of the coins remain unchanged, not to make the transition from old to new coins.

In the three editions of the German federal series (2010, 2011 and 2012) following the design guidelines issued in 2008, the country abbreviation D (which replaced the long version of the Federal Republic of Germany ) was introduced between the stars in the "12 o'clock and 1 o'clock position" ( denotes in analogy to the dial), the two-part year number between the “7 and 5 o'clock star”. Apparently there was room for interpretation as to what “surrounded by the twelve European stars” means. Starting with the 2013 commemorative coins, the D and the year are within the star circle on the pill - however, where it can be. U. can be confused with the (only insignificantly smaller) Munich mint mark D.

The guidelines for the redesign of the national backsides were specified on June 18, 2012 and revised on June 24, 2014. The ring is now reserved for the representation of the twelve stars, with the exception of individual design elements protruding onto the ring, as long as all stars remain clearly and completely visible. If necessary Necessary adjustments of the national sides of currency coins to the design guidelines can be made at any time, however, according to Article 1 g of the ordinance, they must be carried out within fifty years, at the latest by June 20, 2062. Without prejudice to any changes required to prevent counterfeiting, the designs used on the national sides of the currency coins may only be changed every 15 years. These 15-year intervals now affect all currency coins, no longer just those with images of heads of state. Changes to national coin sides that have already been made and approved remain in effect. All previous euro coins retain their value and remain in circulation.

Edge lettering of 2 euro coins

Since the blanks are prefabricated and one or the other side happens to be on top when the pills are pressed in, there are two different views.

Special coins

2 euro commemorative coins

2-euro commemorative coins differ from current coins (according to the EU: "regular coins") only in that their national side is replaced by a special commemorative side. The common side and all other properties such as nominal value, color, thickness and diameter are unchanged. The editions of these commemorative coins are fixed. 2 euro commemorative coins (in contrast to collector coins) are intended for circulation and are valid in all euro countries. Since 2004, all countries in the euro area can issue 2 euro commemorative coins; the first was Greece at the 2004 Olympic Games . Each issuing country could only put one commemorative coin into circulation per year until August 16, 2012 . Since this date, each member state whose currency is the euro has been able to mint two 2 euro commemorative coins per year. Additional commemorative coins are possible if the position of head of state is temporarily not or only temporarily occupied, or if the states of the euro zone issue a joint commemorative coin.

In March 2007, a joint issue of the 2 euro commemorative coins appeared on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome . It was issued by all 13 EU countries that issued the euro at the time (i.e. without the participation of Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City). The coin is designed the same in all countries and only differs in the respective country name and the language of the inscription Treaty of Rome - 50 years . The second joint 2 euro commemorative coin appeared on January 1, 2009 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the European Economic and Monetary Union . The third joint issue was issued on January 1, 2012 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the introduction of euro cash , a fourth was published in 2015 to mark the 30th anniversary of the European flag .

By the end of 2014, 21 of the then 22 euro countries had issued a total of 978 million euro 2 commemorative coins. According to the ECB, the volume of 2-euro coins in circulation - current coins and commemorative coins - was 5284 million at this point in time. The 2-euro commemorative coins issued up to the end of 2014 represented a maximum of 18.5% of the 2-euro coins in circulation at that time (even defective commemorative coins may be withdrawn from circulation and replaced by new currency coins).

As of the end of 2015, the following figures were obtained:

German 2 euro commemorative coin, federal states series from 2006, motif 2006: Schleswig-Holstein
The first joint issue of the 2 euro commemorative coin , Austrian version
country Commemorative coin edition Share of total circulation of commemorative coins in
Circulation of
2 euro coins
Proportion of commemorative coins
in circulating
2-euro coins
AndorraAndorra Andorra
BelgiumBelgium Belgium 0.055,862,000 005.02 01.00
GermanyGermany Germany 0.473.767.710 042.54 08.52
EstoniaEstonia Estonia 0.002,350,000 000.21 00.04
FinlandFinland Finland 0.027,100,000 002.43 00.49
FranceFrance France 0.109,809,396 009.86 01.97
GreeceGreece Greece 0.051,986,549 004.67 00.93
IrelandIreland Ireland 0.010,818,887 000.97 00.19
ItalyItaly Italy 0.170.629.640 015.32 03.07
LatviaLatvia Latvia 0.004,040,000 000.36 00.07
LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania 0.001,750,000 000.16 00.03
LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 0.018,433,300 001.66 00.33
MaltaMalta Malta 0.004,420,000 000.40 00.08
MonacoMonaco Monaco 0.001,537,009 000.14 00.03
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 0.048,998,000 004.40 00.88
AustriaAustria Austria 0.034,550,000 003.10 00.62
PortugalPortugal Portugal 0.012,090,000 001.09 00.22
San MarinoSan Marino San Marino 0.001,673,800 000.15 00.03
SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia 0.009,500,000 000.85 00.17
SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia 0.009,400,000 000.84 00.17
SpainSpain Spain 0.061.336.492 005.51 01.10
Vatican cityVatican Vatican city 0.001,383,168 000.12 00.02
Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus Cyprus 0.002,350,000 000.21 00.04
total 1,113,785,951 100.00 5,563,000,000 20.02

Collector coins

German 100 euro collector's coin made of gold

In addition to the euro currency coins that are legal tender in all participating countries, every country participating in the monetary union is entitled to issue collector coins .

Collector coins differ in face value and at least two of the three criteria of thickness, diameter and color from current coins . These collector coins are only legal tender in the issuing country. Since the collector and material value of the gold coins clearly exceeds their face value, they rarely play a role in payment transactions. The German silver coins that are issued at face value are also rarely in circulation.

Due to an EU regulation of July 4, 2012, the collector coins must have different denominations than the regular circulation coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as 1 and 2 euros). This requirement is usually met in that collector coins have nominal values ​​of more than 2 euros. They often correspond to the face values ​​of the banknotes (5, 10, 50, 100 and 200 euros), but in some countries there are also collector coins with unusual face values:

  • Belgium: 12½ and 25 euro gold coins
  • Estonia: 12 euro silver coins
  • France: ¼, 1½ and 15 euro silver coins. A 5 euro coin made from 333 silver is sometimes used as a circulation coin in the country.
  • Ireland: 15 euro silver coins
  • Luxembourg: 175 and 700 euro cents silver coins and 25 euro silver coins
  • Austria: Nine-cornered 5 euro coins made of copper or 80% silver. There are also 3 euro coins and 25 euro bimetal coins (ring made of 900 silver, core made of niobium ). The Vienna Philharmonic in silver (with a face value of 1½ euros) and in gold (with face values ​​of 10, 25, 50, 100, 2,000 euros and 100,000 euros ) are also considered euro collector coins.
  • Portugal: ¼ euro gold coins, 1½, 2½ and 8 euro coins made of copper, silver or gold, and 7½ euro coins made of copper or gold.
  • Slovenia: 3 euro bimetal coins and 30 euro silver coins.
  • Spain: 12 euro silver coins and a twelve-sided 300 euro tri-metal coin
Euro collector coins
Face value AndorraAndorra AD AustriaAustria AT BelgiumBelgium BE Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus CY GermanyGermany DE EstoniaEstonia EE GreeceGreece Tbsp SpainSpain IT FinlandFinland FI FranceFrance FR IrelandIreland IE ItalyItaly IT LithuaniaLithuania LI LuxembourgLuxembourg LU LatviaLatvia LV MonacoMonaco MC MaltaMalta MT NetherlandsNetherlands NL PortugalPortugal PT SloveniaSlovenia SL SlovakiaSlovakia SK San MarinoSan Marino SM Vatican cityVatican VA
€ 0.25
40 cents
1.50 €
175 cents
€ 2.50
3.00 €
€ 4.00
5.00 €
€ 6.00
700 cents
€ 7.00
€ 7.50
€ 8.00
€ 10.00
€ 12.00
€ 12.50
15.00 €
€ 20.00
€ 25.00
€ 30.00
€ 50.00
€ 75.00
€ 100.00
€ 200.00
€ 250.00
€ 300.00
€ 400.00
€ 500.00
€ 1,000.00
€ 2,000.00
€ 5,000.00
€ 100,000.00

Euro forerunners, sample coins and test coins

These coins are not official means of payment and are therefore not to be called coins , but medals . As a rule, the sample coins and test mints do not come from the central bank or the national mints. Rather, it is a matter of imaginative coinage by private individuals or coin trading companies; the design therefore does not reflect the possible appearance of later official European coins in these countries. Sample coins and test mintings are offered for practically all EU countries that have not yet introduced the euro. In some countries, including Germany, these medals may contravene valid coin regulations.

There were also so-called euro forerunners, regionally valid pseudo-currencies.

In addition, designs for Danish euro coins were presented. Its hypothetical introduction was planned for 2004, but the Danes rejected the euro in a referendum in 2000. In the meantime, the drafts no longer comply with the applicable design guidelines.

See also


  • Euro catalog, coins and banknotes 2015. Leuchtturm Albenverlag, Geesthacht 2014, ISBN 978-3-00-000695-1 .
  • Gerhard Schön: Euro Coin Catalog 2014. 13th edition Battenberg, Battenberg 2014, ISBN 978-3-86646-105-5 .
  • Deutsche Bundesbank: The euro coins. Frankfurt, December 2010. p. 3 ff. (Brochure)

Web links

Commons : Euro coins  - collection of images, videos and audio files

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