This week we continue with the second part of the guide on commemorative 2 Euro coins minted during 2017. If you missed the first part you can find it here.
This Baltic republic has decided to dedicate its 2017 two euro coin to commemorate the centenary of the country's independence. Independence was not formalized in 1917, but it was on July 1, 1917 when the first Estonian representative parliament was formed, known as Maapäev .
To be accurate, Estonia formally declared its independence from Russia on February 24, 1918. On February 2, 1920, the young Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic recognized, through the Treaty of Tartu, the military defeat and independence of the country.
The design of the coin is full of symbolism. A sinuous trunk of an oak appears with oak leaves on the right side and bare branches on the left. The oak symbolizes the winding road of Estonia to independence, the bare branches symbolize the era of revolutions and hardships that were suffered towards its independence, and the leaves symbolize strength, performance and longevity.
Additionally, on the left-hand side there is the inscription "MAAPÄEV", the Provisional Assembly of Estonia, together with the years 1917 and 2017 and the name of the country EESTI in Estonian.
As it has been doing throughout the last few years: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Finland has also decided to mint two commemorative coins for the year 2017.
Curiously, the Estonian currency is not the only one that commemorates the centenary of the country's independence, as Finland's second commemorative coin is dedicated to this fact.
Finland’s independence, being adopted by its parliament on December 6, 1917, also began after the Russian revolution of 1917. With it, Finland stopped being the Grand Duchy of Finland, declaring itself an independent nation, and was thus no longer part of the Russian Empire.
The design of the coin is quite original, showing a mosaic of small dots that provide a glimpse of the silhouette of Finland. On the left side of the silhouette appears the text, "SUOMI, FINLAND" (Finland in Finnish and Swedish) next to the years "1917" and "2017", and on the right side you can see the mint mark and the letters FI, distinct to the country.
The second coin minted this 2017 in Finland has been dedicated to the nature of the country. This design doesn’t surprise us if we take into account that their 2 Euro coin of normal circulation has the rubus chamaemorus on it and that they declared a National Day of Nature at the end of August.
The design recreates a photograph of Kari Auvinena, winner of an annual nature photo contest. In the inner part of the coin there is the image of the moon seen from the lighthouse placed on the island of Harmaja. In front of the lighthouse there is a crow perched on a tree branch. Around this image the rest of the elements appear: on the left the indicator of the issuing country “FI”, on the right the mint mark and on the lower part the year of issue.
The Gallic country has decided to mint two new commemorative coins for 2017, with two very different themes: one dedicated to the current fight against breast cancer and another to remember one of its most illustrious artists.
With the first of the coins, France wanted to honor one of its most illustrious sculptors François-Auguste-René Rodin. This 2017 marks the first centenary of his death (Paris, November 12, 1840 - Meudon, November 17, 1917). Rodin was a contemporary sculptor of Impressionism, and was considered one of the "fathers of modern sculpture", between his innumerable works, we can point out "The thinker", "The kiss", "The door of hell" or "The burghers of Calais".
On the right side of the design we can appreciate an Auguste Rodin with his face puckered and a bushy beard that hides his chin. On the left side, facing Auguste, there is his most famous work “The thinker” posing with his head resting on his fist. On Rodin's beard appears his name "A. Rodin" as well as the centenary date "1917-2017", while on its head is placed the reference to the French Republic (RF).
The pink ribbon is an international symbol used by people, companies and organizations that are committed to raising awareness about breast cancer. This symbol was invented just 25 years ago by Evelyn H. Lauder, Vice President of Estée Lauder and Alexandra Peney of Self. Today 25 years later, France uses this fact to commemorates this coin. This ribbon little by little has become the symbol of the fight against breast cancer worldwide. In 20 years, more than 100 million pink ribbons have been distributed around the world.
On the coin appears the bust of a woman protected symbolically by a hand and the ribbon. On the right side are the 1992-2017 anniversary years, together with the indication of the RF country and the mint mark, all surrounded by the legend "25e ANNIVERSAIRE DU RUBAN ROSE" (25th anniversary of the pink ribbon).
For this coin, the mint (La Monnaie de Paris) has decided to color the ribbon in pink in the BU and Proof versions, donating 2 Euros of each sale to the association for the fight against breast cancer: "Le Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en! "(Breast cancer, let's talk about it!).
The Hellenic country has also decided to mint two commemorative coins for this year 2017, as it did in previous years, some dedicated to an important personality of the country (Athlete Spiridon Louis or Dimitri Mitropoulos) and the others to an important historical fact for the country (150th Anniversary of the union of the Ionian Islands to Greece or 150 years of the fire of the Arkadi Monastery)
The first of the coins minted by Greece has been dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the death of Nikos Kazantzakis. Possibly, the most important Greek writer and philosopher of the 20th century and the one that has been translated into many languages.
The coin presents the figure of Nikos in profile looking to his left and it is on that side that the inscriptions appear: "ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ" and "ΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΑΖΑΝΤΖΑΚΗΕ" (Hellenic Republic and Nikos Kazantzakis, respectively, written in Greek) next to the year of minting and the symbol of the Greek mint.
Philippi was a fortified city founded in 356 b.c. during the reign of Philip II of Macedonia, located in the current Greek region of East Macedonia and Thrace. After the visit of the apostle Saint Paul to Philippi in the years 49 to 50 of our era, the city became a center for the spread of Christianity. The vestiges of their churches constitute an exceptional testimony of the settlement of the first Christians.
The remains of this city were proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 15, 2016 and because of that fact, Greece has decided to dedicate a commemorative coin in 2017.
The tails shows a portion of the vestiges of Basilica B in the city of Philippi. Above this representation we find the year of emission "2017". The monogram of the artist, Georgios Stamatopoulos and the palmette as mark of the Greek mint appear on the left and right respectively. In the upper part, the legends "ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟΣ ΧΩΡΟΣ ΦΙΛΊΠΠΩΝ" (Archaeological Site of Philippi) and "ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ" (Hellenic Republic) appear.
Italy has also decided to mint two commemorative coins for this 2017, something that it has been doing continuously since 2012. Here you can find them: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The first commemorative coin of 2 Euros that Italy has minted in 2017 is dedicated to the Basilica of San Marcos, one of the most representative images of the city of Venice.
The reason is to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the completion of its construction in its current state. The basilica has undergone repeated reconstructions and modifications since it was built for the first time around 832 with the purpose to host relics of St. Mark the Evangelist that was supposedly stolen from Alexandria.
The coin shows the most recognizable image of the Basilica, its facade. On this appears the name of the city in Italian "VENEZIA", while the lower part is occupied by the dates of the commemoration 1617-2017 together with the symbol of the Italian Republic, an I on an R.
Tito Livio (in Latin, Titus Livius) was a Roman historian born and died in what is now Padua, capital of the Venetia. He was famous for being responsible for the education of the future Emperor Claudius as well as for his work "The Decades". This work consists of 142 books and told of the history of Rome, from the founding of the city until the death of Nero.
In the center of the coin is the bust of Tito Livio, obtained from a work by Lorenzo Larese Moretti. Next to the bust we see the initials of the Italian Republic "RI" next to the initials "CM" of the designer of the coin Claudia Momoni. On the left side of the coin are the years of the birth and death of Tito, "17" and "2017", together with the mark of the Italian mint. The bottom part is reserved for the text "TITO LIVIO”.
The Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Banka) has decided to dedicate the 2 Euro commemorative coins to each of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia: Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale. This series began last year with the issue of the coin dedicated to the Vidzeme Region and continues this 2017 with the following two regions:
Latgale is one of the four historical and cultural regions of Latvia recognized in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia. It is the easternmost region north of the Daugava River. Inhabited mostly by a population of ethnic Russians who live with a Belarusian and Polish minority.
As it happens with other commemorative coins, the design is limited to include the image of the region's coat of arms along with the inscription "LATVIJA" at the top, and the name of the region, in this case "LATGALE" at the bottom.
The Kurzeme region is located in the western part of Latvia, on the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. It is a region with a great historical and cultural heritage. For centuries it was the main settlement of the livonians, who were the precursors of current Latvians.
The motif shows the shield of the historic region of Latvia called Kurzeme. In the upper part, there is the inscription of the issuing country "LATVIJA" and, in the lower part, the inscription "KURZEME", the name of the region.
Lithuania has minted only one commemorative coin this 2017 and has dedicated it to the City of Vilna, considered the Cultural and Artistic Capital of the State.
It has been an important city since the 13th century, having a great influence on the cultural and architectural development of a large part of Eastern Europe. Despite the invasions and destructions of which it was a victim, it has conserved an impressive set of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical buildings, as well as its medieval layout and the surrounding natural landscape. Thanks to all this, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994 and European Capital of Culture in 2009.
The coin represents a part of the baroque historical center of the city: the bell tower of the University of Vilnius, the Tower of the Church of San Francisco and San Bernardo and the domes of an Orthodox church. In the upper part there are the inscriptions "VILNUIS" (name of the city in Lithuanian), Lietuva (Lithuania) and the year of issue, 2017. The mint mark and the designer's mark, Vladas Orzekauskas appear in the center.
This 2017 Luxembourg has decided to issue two new commemorative coins, but as it is usual in the coins minted by Luxembourg, the official motif and the chosen design have no relationship with each other. The images of the coins issued by this small country seem more focused on increasing the glory of their monarchs than commemorating the events for which they are minted. You can check it by looking at the designs of the previous coins.
One of the reasons that Luxembourg has dedicated one of its commemorative coins of 2017 is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the abolition of mandatory military service.
In spite of the fact that the motive to commemorate the coin is the anniversary of the abolition of military service, in the central part of the coin appears the great Duke Henri in profile looking towards the right side. On the left side of the coin you can read "50 JOER FRAÏWËLLEGEN-ARMÉI" (50 years of the Volunteer Army, in Luxembourgish), containing the coat of arms of the country, a motif commemorated by the coin.
The upper part is reserved for the year of issue 2017 and the symbol of the mint responsible for the minting of these coins (Utrecht, The Netherlands). Finally, at the bottom, the name of the country appears in its own language "LËTZEBUERG" (Luxembourg).
The second coin issued is directly aimed at enhancing one of the figures of the nobility, specifically Grand Duke William III (Brussels, February 17, 1817 - November 23, 1890) who was king of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg between 1849 and 1890. William III was the son of William II and the Grand Duchess Anna Pávlovna of Russia, daughter of Tsar Paul I.
One of his most controversial actions was the attempt to sell the Duchy of Luxembourg to Napoleon III in 1867, an attempt that almost caused the outbreak of a war between France and Prussia, and that was one of the triggers for Luxembourg to finally become an independent country.
On the left side of the coin appears Grand Duke Henry, current Duke of Luxembourg, and on his right, the effigy of Grand Duke William III. In the upper part is the date 2017 and the text "GRANDS-DUCS DE LUXEMBOURG". While above the figure of Guillermo III appears the inscription "GUILLAUME II" followed by the date of his birth 1817.