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Who Buys Back Euro Coins

Andorra signed a Monetary Agreement with the European Union on 30 June 2011. As a result, Andorra can use the euro as its official currency and issue its own euro coins. All the coins feature the 12 stars of the European flag.

who buys back euro coins


In 2014, Belgium introduced the third series of euro coins, which show King Philippe, his royal monogram "FP" and the country code for Belgium, "BE". The mint marks appear on either side of the year of issuance.

Croatia has chosen four designs for their national sides of the euro coins, all featuring the distinctive Croatian chequerboard pattern in the background. All the coins also depict the 12 stars of the European flag.

Over 1,200 designs were considered for the national side of the first series of French euro coins. A panel chaired by the Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance chose three designs, each for specific denominations.

The Minister for the National Economy and the Governor of the Bank of Greece chose the designs for their euro coins from a set of proposals presented by a national technical and artistic committee. The designer of the winning motifs was sculptor Georges Stamatopoulos, sponsored by the Bank of Greece. There is a separate design for each denomination. The image of the owl featured in this design was copied from an ancient Athenian 4-drachma coin (fifth century BC).

German euro coins have three separate designs for the three series of coins. The 1-cent, 2-cent and 5-cent coins were designed by Rolf Lederbogen [de], the design for the 10-cent, 20-cent and 50-cent coins were designed by Reinhard Heinsdorff [de] and the 1- and 2-euro coins were done by Heinz Hoyer [de] and Sneschana Russewa-Hoyer. Featured in all designs are the 12 stars of the EU and the year of minting.

There are eight euro coin denominations, ranging from one cent to two euros[1] (the euro is divided into a hundred cents). The coins first came into use in 2002. They have a common reverse, portraying a map of Europe, but each country in the eurozone has its own design on the obverse, which means that each coin has a variety of different designs in circulation at once. Four European microstates that are not members of the European Union (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City) use the euro as their currency and also have the right to mint coins with their own designs on the obverse side.

In 1999, the currency was born virtually and in 2002 notes and coins began to circulate.[2] It rapidly replaced the former national currencies and the eurozone has since expanded further to some newer EU states.[2] In 2009 the Lisbon Treaty formalised its political authority, the Eurogroup, alongside the European Central Bank.[4]

As the EU's membership has since expanded in 2004, 2007 and 2013,[11] with further expansions envisaged, the common face of all euro coins from the value of 10c and above were redesigned in 2007 to show a new map.[12]

Slovenia joined the eurozone in 2007, Cyprus and Malta joined in 2008, Slovakia in 2009, Estonia in 2011, Latvia in 2014, Lithuania in 2015 and Croatia in 2023, introducing eight more national-side designs.[13] Andorra started minting coins in 2014, so as of 2023 there are 24 countries with their own national sides.

The common side was designed by Luc Luycx of the Royal Belgian Mint.[14] They symbolise the unity of the EU.[14] The national sides were designed by the NCBs of the eurozone in separate competitions. There are specifications which apply to all coins such as the requirement of including twelve stars. National designs were not allowed to change until the end of 2008, unless a monarch (whose portrait usually appears on the coins) dies or abdicates. National designs have seen some changes due to a new rule stating that national designs should include the name of the issuing country.[15]

Starting in 2017 the 1, 2, and 5 euro cent coins from individual member states have started adjusting their common side design to a new version, identified by smaller and more rounded numeral and longer lines outside of the stars at the coin's circumference.[17]

The original designs of the 10c, 20c and 50c coins showed the outline of each of the 15 EU member states. Each state was shown as separate from the others, thus giving Europe the appearance of an archipelago. EU member states outside the eurozone (the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark) were also depicted. Non-EU states were not depicted.

The year featured on the coins can date back to 1999, when the currency was formally established (only Belgian, Finnish, French, Dutch, and Spanish coins were struck with the 1999 date). These countries traditionally strike coins with the year of minting rather than the year it was put into circulation.

Researchers from the University of Zürich warned that an external ring of metal surrounding an inner pill of a different colour, as in the euro coins, can lead to the release of high levels of nickel, causing allergic reactions with people sensitive to the metal. The researchers also warned that the coins could contain between 240 and 320 times the amount of nickel allowed under the EU nickel directive.[18]

Though they are not members of the EU, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City (and Andorra since 2014) also have euro coins featuring a national side, but a considerable number of these coins were not put into general circulation by the authorities who instead sold them to collectors for prices higher than their face value.[20] Due to this, in 2012, a European Regulation established that: "A minor proportion, not exceeding 5 % of the cumulated total net value and volume of circulation coins issued by a Member State, taking into account only years with positive net issuance, may be put on the market above face value if justified by the special quality of the coin, a special packaging or any additional services provided".[21]

The basis for the euro coins is derived from a European recommendation from 2003, which allowed changing the national obverse sides of euro coins from 1 January 2004 onwards.[22] However, a number of recommendations and restrictions still apply.

Finland and Belgium had already corrected their design on the coins issued to include the initials of the country in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Belgium was forced to change its design back to show the original portrait of its monarch, because the 2008 update to follow the recommendations also updated the portrait, which was against the rules. The Belgian coins from 2009 onwards show the original royal portrait of 1999, but otherwise keep the new 2008 coin design as far as the country identification and year mark are concerned. These provisions additionally prohibit further sede vacante sets of coins by the Vatican City, allowing only commemorative coins for such occasions. Finland and Spain updated their designs to meet the new rules about the stars in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

In 2012, a European Regulation approved new specifications of euro coins and named (in article 1 g) a deadline for national sides of regular coins to be updated to fully comply with the current regulation: 20 June 2062.[26]

As of 2022[update], Austria, Germany and Greece still have to include an indication of the issuing Member State. Additionally, Greece, Luxembourg and Slovenia have to comply with the rule of the stars. Finally, Austria must eliminate the denominations on the national side of their euro coins.

Bear in mind that the foregoing refers to "regular" coins since, in the case of the 2 euro commemorative coins, the aforementioned is fulfilled in all coins since 2013. This is due to the fact that each one of these coins supposes a variation in the design, while, as mentioned, "regular" coins were not affected unless the design of the national sides was changed, and have until June 20, 2062 in the event that the design had not been changed before.

Finally, the different States must inform each other of their new draft designs (both of "regular" and 2 euro commemorative coins), as well as the European Council and the European Commission, which must give its approval. In one example, the initial design of Andorran 10, 20 and 50 cent coins did not obtain EU approval because the image of the Pantokrator of San Martí de la Cortinada, included in those coins, violated the principle of religious neutrality. The image of the religious figure was eliminated in the final Andorran coin design. Another example, the 2 euro commemorative coins that Belgium planned to issue in 2015 on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, caused complaints by France and withdrawal of the design. However, Belgium did issue a 2.50 euro collector's coin, taking advantage of the fact that these coins are not submitted to the draft design approval.

The coins increase in size and weight with value. Of the eight denominations of euro coins, the three lowest denominations are small, resemble copper in colour and are quite thin and light. The next three denominations resemble gold in colour and are thicker as well as heavier. The highest two denominations are bimetallic, being generally larger and thicker than the lower denominations.

Greece was the first country to issue a commemorative coin, and was followed by other countries. In 2007, every eurozone state participated in the Treaty of Rome programme, in which all member states issued a coin of similar design to commemorate the signing of the Treaty, only differing in the name of the issuing country and language of the text. This was also the case in 2009, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Economic and Monetary Union. The design was selected by electronic voting by EU citizens.[29] In 2012, a common commemorative coin was issued to commemorate the tenth anniversary of euro coins and banknotes. In 2015, a common commemorative coin was issued to commemorate 30 years of the European Union flag. Finally, in 2022 a common commemorative coin was issued to commemorate 35 years of the Erasmus Programme. 041b061a72


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