Some weeks ago we were giving out all the information about the new 2 euro commemorative coins that were already circulating. Among them there is a coin commonly issued by all countries dedicated to the centenary of the independence of the baltic republics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And in line with this common commemorative coin, this week we want to make a review of all the common commemorative coins that have been minted since the beginning of the Euro.
The common commemorative coins that have been minted until the date have been:
The Rome Treaties, signed on March 25th 1957, are two treaties that gave origin to the European Union. The first one established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second one established the European Community of the Atomic Energy (EAEC or Euratom). The countries signing this historic agreement where France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Germany. The ratification of the Treaty of Rome by the parlements of the signing countries took place in the following months and, finally, the treaty came into effect the 1st of January of 1958.
The design of this coin was chosen among the ones presented by all countries taking part in the mintage. The background of the coin recalls the pavement of the Piazza del Campidoglio, of Rome, were the treaty was signed. Over that an open book is shown, symbolizing the treaty signed by the six countries. In the top part there is the inscription: “Treaty of Rome 50 years”, and in the lower part, the name of each one of the issuing coins, both in the official language of each country along with the corresponding mint house mark.
The Economic and Monetary Union is a group of countries form the European Union in which the free circulation of people, goods, services and capitals is established and on top of that they have a common coin: the Euro. From 1994 the creation of this entity was being developed, that finally commissioned the 1st of January of 1999. Last 1st of January of 2009 the X Anniversary of the Creation of the Economic and Monetary Union was celebrated and a common 2 euro coin was issued to commemorate this fact.
In the center of the coin shows a slim human figure whose left arm is extended by the euro sign. The design, by George Stamatopoulos, is intentionally primitive symbolizing a large history of commercial exchanges, from the prehistoric barters until the Economic and Monetary union. The name of the issuing country appears in the top part, while the inscription 1999-2009 and the acronym UEM translated to the corresponding language of each country is shown in the bottom.
As we already said, the euro started circulating the 1st of January of 2002 replacing the national currency of the 12 states that adopted it first: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Greece, and 3 microstates: Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino. Other countries have been adopting the euro as their own coin later on, such as: Slovenia in 2007, Malta and Cyprus in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Andorra in 2012, Latvia in 2014 and finally Lithuania in 2015. Making up the list of 19 countries and 4 microstates in the Euro zone.
The design of the coin was selected by the euro zone citizens among the five designs preselected by a professional jury, finally the winner was the design by Helmut Andexlinger, professional designer of the Minting house of Austria.
In the center of the coin the sign of the Euro is shown over the planet earth, symbolizing the important aspect that the euro has acquired in a world level as well as its importance in the daily live of the people. This facets are represented in the following ways: the citizens (the four members family), the trade (the ship), the industry (the factory) and the energy (the wind farm). The name of the issuing country is shown in the top part while the bottom one is saved for the commemoration dates 2002-2012.
The european flag is formed by 12 yellow stars in a circle over a blue background, a design made in 1955 by Arsène Heitz, a painter from Strasbourg. It shows twelve stars since the number twelve is traditionally a symbol of perfection, the complete and unity. Therefore, the flag does not changes with the expansion of countries members of the union. It was adopted as official symbol in june of 1985 and it has being used as an emblem in all european institutions since 1986.
The winning design was selected by the citizens and residents in the euro zone. The selected design was presented by the artist George Stamatopoulos, belonging to The Banknote Printing Works of the Bank of Greece (IETA). According to Georgios, his design represents “twelve stars that transform in human silhouettes that receive the birth of a new Europe”. At the same time, “the flag is a symbol that unites the people and cultures that share a point of view and an aspiration for a better common future”
This time the commemorative coin will not be common for all the member countries of the union, only the Baltic republics have decided to mint a common coin. This 2018 is the centenary of an important date in the history of the three Baltic Republics: They commemorate the creation of their respective states. Lithuania and Estonia will celebrate in February, while Latvia will have to wait until November.
The design of the coin represents the common past, the present and the future of the Baltic Republics, all that is symbolized by a braid that unites the paths of the three countries. At the top of the coin appears the three threads that start the braid. Each thread represents one shield of the country, from left to right: a white knight for Lithuania, a lion and a winged for Latvia and the three lions for Estonia. Finally, on the right side, the minting date (2018) appears, while the left part is reserved for the name of the issuing country in its official language: “Eesti, Latvija” or Lietuva.
Due to the 50th anniversary of the singing of the treaty, the two signing countries: Germany and France, decided to mint a 2 euro commemorative coin common to both countries.
The treaty of the cooperation between France and Germany was signed the 22 of January of 1963 by the german chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the french president Charles de Gaulle. They treaty was signed in the Élysée Palace, in Paris, and that’s why now it is known as "Élysee Treaty". The agreement established a solid base for the development of bilateral actions among the two countries and it started the reconciliation among the two countries after the two more cruel confrontations in the recent history: the First (1914-1918) and Second (1939-1945) world war.
The design was created in a collaboration between Yves Sampo (Monnaie de Paris), Stefanie Lindner (Staatliche Münze Berlin) and the berlinese artists Alina Hoyer and Snezhana Russewa-Hoyer. The common face shows the faces of the signatories of the Élysee Treaty: the chancellor of the Federal Republic of German , Konrad Adenauer, and the president of the French Republic, Charles de Gaulle, over their respective signatures. Among both pictures, in the center of the coin, the inscription “50 ANS JAHRE” appears just besides the minting year: 2013. Finishing the design the inscription “Élysée Treaty" appears in both languages: “TRAITÉ DE L`ÉLYSÉE“, in french, in the top part and “ELYSÉE-VERTRAG”, in german, in the bottom.
The differences among the french coin and the german one are the mark of the issuing country "RF" (Republique Francaise) or "D" (Deuschtland), along with the minting house mark. This mark is only one for the french coin, but for the german version it can be any of the five different variants (A, D, F, G and J) due to the five minting houses that exists in Germany (check our blog post for more info on this).