In this page we are going to talk about Euro Coins and their collections. Many numismatists collect, sort and classify euro coins, the currency that has been in use in Europe for several years now. You can start too but first, read the information below.
Precisely on January 1, 2002, in fact, the single European currency made its first appearance among the European States.
The States have consequently renounced to the single currencies. In reality, however, it must be said that already in 1999 in Italy and in other European countries the new currency was “already present”.
Just in this date in fact the Euro has been recognized as official currency (even if not yet physically present) and used for electronic payments, securities of credit and all those payments definable not physical.
In addition, on January 1st of the same year, 2 Euro commemorative coins were issued, defined as “2 Euro EMU”, an acronym indicating the European Monetary Union.
History of the Euro
Contrary to what one might think, the history of the Euro has much older roots than the actual date of issue.
In fact, its history dates back to 1957 in Rome, the year in which the treaties were signed to sanction the birth of the E.E.C. This was nothing more than an unripe form, if we could say so, of what would later be the European Union. For more information about it, you can consult the official website of Europe.
It is in 1988, however, that the Euro draws its origins. Specifically, in fact, this year the European Council, which brings together Heads of State and Government of the European Community, assigns to a committee, composed mainly of the governors of central banks and led by Jacques Delors, the task of creating a project aimed at the progressive implementation of economic and monetary union.
In particular, there were three important phases.
- The first was the liberalisation of capital flows by abolishing all restrictions on the free movement of money between Member States.
- Later, with the creation of the European Monetary Institute (EMI), relations between central banks were strengthened.
- Finally, in a third phase, from January 1, 1999, there was the gradual transition to the single currency.
The name of the currency: “the euro”
The name Euro also has a very interesting story and that anyone interested in the world of collecting Euro coins must know.
The official name in fact was adopted in Madrid from the European Council in 1995 in order to replace the initials ECU used until that moment.
In fact ECU was to indicate “European Currency Unit” or in Italian “European Unit of Account” and it was an anglicism used in the official treaties until 1978.
However they are different the reasons for which this type of denomination was discarded in favor of what today we all know. The main reasons are of linguistic nature because ECU was an abbreviation that, as far as the English language is concerned, had no doubt a meaning while for other States it was a bit anonymous and in some cases even cacophonic.
In fact, the acronym had a meaning in the English language, from which it was taken, and in the French language as it means shield, a name that recalled an ancient French currency.
However, for the other countries it had no meaning and for Germany it was a real problem.
The Germans in fact should have called the coin ein Ecu that sounded very similar to eine Kuh or “a cow”.
In the end, therefore, it was decided to opt for the name Euro which represents nothing more than the abbreviation of the term Europe for which the abbreviation is precisely EUR.
The symbol of Euro Coins
The Euro symbol that we all know also has a history and is the result of a very accurate selection process.
In particular, there were ten original projects. All of them had characteristics that made it possible to define what would be the identifying symbol of the single currency.
Thanks to a survey, only two projects were selected, which appeared to be the most valid. In the end, it was the European Commission that sanctioned the winner.
The original symbol was created by a team of four experts even though their names have never been made official. Currently, the design of the symbol is attributed to the Belgian Alain Billiet unofficially.
The symbol is inspired by the Greek epsilon with a clear reference to the “E” of Europe and two horizontal lines that represent the stability of Europe.
The glyph also has official colours declared by the European Union. Specifically yellow in the foreground and blue background.
In addition, its position was immediately clarified: the symbol must always be placed after the figure and the two characters must be separated by a space. This rule does not apply in English, Irish, Maltese and Latvian, for which the symbol is always placed first.
Euro Coins Collections
The collecting of coins in Euro can without doubt be a very fascinating activity.
The different coins of the European Union in fact, besides varying among them for those that are the denominations (1€, 2€, 0,50€ etc.) also vary from State to State.
Specifically, these coins have two faces or two sides. The first is the common face which is the same for all countries, the second is the national face which, as it is easy to understand, is specific and customized for each country.
The collector, the euro coin lover or the numismatist, is therefore looking for different coins according to the various countries in order to have as many copies as possible.
Of course there are exceptions particular coins which are much more sought after and substantially differ in two main types:
- coins with minting errors
- the Commemorative Coins.
As mentioned above, the common side of the euro coins is a face that has the same graphics for all countries and allows you to give some sort of identification to this type of coins.
Specifically, it was designed by the Belgian Luc Luycx, who was the winner of a competition for the creation of this “face”.
The common side represents first of all the value of the coin accompanied by the initials “EURO” or “euro CENT” depending on the denomination. In addition, there is a representation of the map of Europe.
In this regard, it is important to note that in the period between 2007 and 2008, the common side of the coins, with the exception of the 2€, 1€ and 0.50€ coins, was modified so as to offer a vision of the European continent without any borders.
In addition to this, there are 12 stars on the common side representing the 12 States.
The national side, on the other hand, is the one that changes from State to State and is the one that effectively allows to understand this currency from which country it comes.
Each State has therefore had the opportunity to customize its own currency in such a way as to provide a unique aspect. The only directives of the European Union regarding this practice were those to insert also in this face the 12 stars and to insert the name of the Nation in whole or even abbreviated.
Because of this last directive some Countries were forced to modify their own coins in course of work (we speak of Germany, Belgium, Austria, Finland and Greece).
As far as representations are concerned, each State has chosen to include those that are characteristic elements. For example, for states in which the Head of State is a sovereign, it was decided to include his face. Other states opted instead to include aspects such as important monuments, characteristic symbols, historical figures but also characteristic plants.
At a later date, however, many states have changed their currencies, although the Mint has expressed its wish not to do so before 2008 unless the Head of State depicted had changed.
Commemorative 2 Euro Coins
At the end of 2003 and with effect from the beginning of 2004, the European Commission granted the Member States the possibility of producing and circulating a 2€ commemorative coin which would have had legal value to all intents and purposes.
The limits imposed by the EU provided for the issuance of only one currency per year even if, starting from 2013, this limit has been extended to 2 coins.
Commemorative coins, as the term itself suggests, are 2-euro coins which represent some important event. A clear example of this are the Greek €2 coins for the 2004 Olympic Games, which were issued for that particular event.
Among these coins the most sought after to date are those of Finland 2004, Slovenia 2007 and those of the mini states such as the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of San Marino and Vatican City.
Regarding commemorative coins, we must also talk about what are called common issues. They are issues of commemorative coins that take place jointly for all countries at events of particular importance to the Union.
Usually these are the same for all countries even if the specific name of the country is always indicated.
So far, the issues of 2 euro commemorative Italian common were 3: 50th Treaty of Rome, EMU 2009 and 10th introduction of the euro in circulation.
We talked a lot about this topic in the page of the 2 euro commemorative.
Euro Starter Kit
Let’s now talk about what are the Euro Starter Kits. These are nothing more than absolutely sealed plastic bags containing Euro coins in all 8 denominations.
Specifically, these Starter Kits were created to allow people in the new Eurozone countries to become familiar with this new currency. In this way, people had and have the opportunity to begin to understand its cut, shape, size and value.
In general, two types of Euro Starter Kits have been created.
The first one is intended for “ordinary” people and is made as seen above.
The second is intended for traders and usually contains many more coins which are collected in rolls rather than in bags.
It was in 2001 that the diffusion of Starter Kits started. In the same year, when the first 12 countries joined Europe, more than 150 million kits were distributed, containing about 4.2 billion coins for a value of 1.6 billion Euros.
In Italy alone, 30 million Starter Kits were distributed for the changeover from the Lira to the Euro. Many people then became passionate and began their “Euro coins collection”.
Starter Kit Value
As we have seen, the Euro Starter Kits are “starting packages” if we can define them as such, which allow us to actually get in touch with the new currency.
As for the value in Italy, the starter kit contains coins in all 8 denominations for a total value of 12.91 Euro.
The collecting therefore is based more than anything else on Starter Kit a little ‘rarer. However, you can also find Italian Starter Kits for sale but with a value slightly higher than the actual content of the bag: roughly from 20 € to 49 €.
Divisional Series of the Euro Coins Collections
A separate discussion can be made instead for what concerns the Divisional series. In this case, in fact, we are talking about real packages made to contain the series of coins issued each year by each country.
Obviously, every year these “boxes” change because every year the coins issued will be different.
There could be silver coins, 2€ commemorative coins or even simply the 8 base coins.
In any case, they are unique because every year the State changes something so that the new coins issued can fit perfectly.
Of course, the coins and the packaging are in a state of preservation Brilliant Uncirculated (Mint) and are subject to very careful checks in order to identify even the smallest defect. Proof Divisionals, on the other hand, are usually issued in a special box with sealed and encapsulated coins.
Value Divisional Euro Coins
The value of the Divisionals, as it is clear, can also be very important depending on the series and the year of production. In general, however, it is possible to make an average of what may be the prices for these unique pieces.
In fact, an Italian Divisional of today’s year (2018) has an estimated value of around €30. The more you go after the years, however, the more the value increases,. There are Divisionals coins that exceed even € 100 in value.
A separate discussion can be made instead for the Proof series, which have a higher value with the same year of production and characteristics.
You did not find what you were looking for? Check these topics:
- You can see all the Malta Euro Coins here.
- The Rarest Lira Coin and their great value has been dealt with here.
- Pieces and their value of Italian 20 Lire Coin are described here.
- If you want info about Roman and Greek Coins and other Ancient Coins and their value, you can find it here
- We talked about how to clean the rare coins, here
- Roman coins were discussed here.
- You will find everything about British Gold Sovereign Coins here.