This week we bring you the coins of the most peculiar countries from the European Union. It is the smallest country, and at the same time, with highest population density of the Union: the Republic of Malta. These data might surprise you, especially if you are into account that their capital, Valleta has only around 8000 inhabitants.
The coins used by the Maltese people have changed considerably along last decades. Up until 40 years ago the coins circulating the island where the pound sterling. In 1972, when the United Kingdom decided to adopt the decimal system for their coins, Malta took advantage and the opportunity and introduced the Lira, it divided in values of 1000 mils or 100 cents until 1972.
This new decimal system, also brought new denominations of 2, 3, 5 mils, 10 and 50 cents. The division of the lira in 100 cents (a smaller division than the 240 pennies of the old system) made it a significantly bigger unit, and because of that United Kingdom introduced a coin of half penny, and Malta the mil.
These denominations were substituted by the values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 lira in 1986, denominations that were circulating until the Euro adoption. Last minted coins during the Euro adoption were the following:
The designs remember those of the Irish coins, in which the indigenous fauna and the flora of the country is represented, topics that were abandoned in the mint of the new Euro coins.
The Euro Adoption
Malta adopted the Euro the 1st of January of 2008, being the fourteenth country from the Union using it as official currency. Both coins were only together for the month.
In order to select the designs of the new Euro coins, a public contest for the Malta citizens took place. Three were the designs the designs selected for the coins that were presented on the 2nd of February 2006. Selected designs were:
- For the values of 1, 1, and 5 cents, the selected design was the temple of Mnajdra: Prehistoric megalithic complex on the south coast of the island of Malta dating back to the third millennium BC. C. Considered World Heritage by UNESCO.
As a curiosity it is with to point out that the coins from Malta are not minted in the country, since they don't have a mint house. Almost all the coins are made by the French mint house, Hotel des monnaie, Paris, except for some of the commemorative coins.
On the other hand as we said on the post dedicated to the characteristics that can increment the price of the circulating coins. The low number of Maltese coin through last years, they barely have minted around 50000 coins of each model per year after 2008, make them very prized coins among collectors. In fact, these coins, after 2008 have only being sold in proof quality in a higher price than its facial value. Being the serie of 2014 the most wanted one, they were only minted 25000 coins of each value.
Commemorative 2 Euro Coins
Some weeks ago we commented some of the 2 euro commemorative coins from Malta in the post dedicated to sum up all the issued 2 Euro commemorative coins from last 2014. This time we will show the rest of the 2 Euro commemorative coins from Malta ordered chronologically.
After its adhesion to the Euro in 2008, the first of two commemorative coins of 2 Euro minted by Malta was the common issue of 2009 dedicated to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Euro as common coin in the Union.
The coin shows the figure of a primitive symbol that melts with the Euro symbol (€). Transmitting the idea of unique coin and how the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) constitute the last link of a long history of European economic and commercial integration.
The first 2 Euro commemorative coin issued individually by Malta was, the first of a series of five, dedicated to commemorative event of the constitutional history of the country.
In this first coin the first election of representatives made in 1849 is remembered. It shows a hand that inserts a ballot in a box for electing the fist Maltese representative for the Goverment Board that advised the British governor of Malta. In the right superior border of the centre of the coin the inscription "Malta - First elected representatives 1849" is showed.
Issued on 2012
Along this year Malta had to coin issued, the one corresponding to the common commemorative coin dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the Euro circulation and the second to the series of the constitutional history of Malta.
In 2012 there was 10 years since the introduction of the coins and bills of the Euro. In order to celebrate, all the member states of the Euro zone minted a commemorative coin with the common design along with the name of each of the minting countries.
The design of the coin was selected in a voting in which around 35000 people participated, obtaining the winning design the 34 of the votes. The design is made by Helmut Andexlinger, a professional designer that works in the Mint House of Austria.
The coin symbolizes the way the Euro acquired, in the last ten years, an undeniable worldwide weight and the importance in that it has in the citizen's life (represented by the people that show up in the design), the commerce (the ship), the industry (the factory) and the energy (the wind farm).
In the second coin of the series dedicated to the facts of the constitutional history of Malta the approval of the first constitution of the country is commemorated.
The design of the central part of the coin, created by the Maltese artist Gianni Bonnici, shoes a jubilating crowd, with the governor's palace, in la Valetta, in the background. The design was not exempt of controversy, since at the beginning the crow was shown rising up the arms, as a celebration. However, some countries considered that those people were making a Nazi greeting. Because of that reason the Central Bank of Malta received tons of complains that made him change the design of the coin, removing the arms raised up.
Third coin of the series, in it the self government in the island in 1921 is remembered. After the elections celebrated in December that year the Maltese Political Union emerged as the most voted party obtaining absolute majority in the parliament, moment in which al the national internal matters should be in hands of the Maltese people while Great Britain maintained the responsibility of the exterior issues and defence.
In the coin a map of the Maltese islands is shown along with a representation of the population and the inscription "Malta - Self government 1921".
Issued On 2014
These coins were commented on the post dedicated to the 2 Euro commemorative coin issued during 2014, so we will mainly briefly name them here.
The same way as Luxembourg, Malta decided to use the coin in 2014 to commemorate the independence of the country, in this case the 50th anniversary of it.
The Maltese Police Force is one of the oldest Police Force in Euro after being established at the beginning of British colonial period in 1814.
Issued On 2015
Therefore, for 2015, the present year, the mint of three new commemorative coins will be released.
Since last 22nd of May the first of the mints is available. In this case, the coin commemorates an important fact in the Maltese aviation history: the centenary of the fist flight from Malta, that was the 13th of February of 1915.
In the coin the hydroplane of the captain Kilmer is represented with the promontory of Senglea Point, a renowned element of the Great Port, in the background.
The second of the coins this year will be issued in September under the name of "1974-Republic", fifth and last coin of the serie dedicated to the Constitutional History of Malta.
It commemorates the year in which Malta gets converted in a Republic the 13th of December of 1974. Although the British didn't left the island until the 31st of March of 1979, since their government rejected to pay the demanded tax to allow them to stay. In that moment Malta founded itself with no foreign military base for the first time in its history. This event is celebrated as the Day of Liberty.
Along this year a joint commemorative coin will be also issued. As it was done already for the 10th anniversary of the Economic Union and for the 10th anniversary of the start of the circulation of the Euro for the 50th anniversary of the treaty of Rome. All the union state members will mint commemorative coin with the same image, modifying the design only with the inclusion of the name of the minting country in each case.
This coin, commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the European Flag, although the date of mintage of the coin is unknown, we have the design that the coin will have, design that has been selected by popular voting of the union citizens.
If you want more information regarding this issue that Malta will make along this 2015 we recommend you to visit its Official numismatic programme, in which you can also find information about other coins on sale and options to make a purchase.