The Euro Coin Collector

Hullo and welcome to my Euro Coins Internet site.

I , like all those living in the Eurozone, was mildly interested in the Euro when it burst into our lives on January 1st 2002. At first I only came into contact with German Euro Coins but slowly with the free flow of people and money within the Eurozone other interesting coins from France,Holland,Greece,Ireland...began to appear on the scene.

This led at first to a somewhat perfunctory collecting of the new arrivals that I received as change.

I then bought a cheap pre-punched folder into which I put the Euro Coins from the different Euro countries (12 at that time).Then I bought a book on Euromünzen(Euro Coins) and soon discovered that there was a wealth of interesting facts concerning the Euro in general and Euro Coins in particular.

I have since become an enthusiastic collector of Euro Coins and look forward to sharing with you via my internet site some of the fascinating things I have learned regarding Euro Coins over the last few years.

To start with let me clarify what I mean by Euro Coins - I refer to the coins used throughout the eurozone as the normal means of payment.

A number of "exotic" Euro Coins are minted in each country with face values differing from the standard coins-e.g. 3 € , 10 € 100 € coins. These are valid only within the country they were minted in as a means of payment (legal tender) .They are however minted solely for collectors and allowing them to be used as a means of payment is simply a trick to avoid having to pay value added tax on them.

These "exotic" coins are not (at least not yet) covered in my site.

OK the stage is now set and I invite you to browse around my site - I'm sure you'll find much of interest and a number of lesser known and curious facts about the Euro.

First of all some basic facts about the Euro.

To avoid confusion - the Euro first became official currency in 2002 although from 1999 it was an "electronic currency" used by banks and the financial markets. Some countries had started minting coins from 1999 - these however only came into circulation at the beginning of 2002.

Some states (e.g. Andorra ) have the Euro as their official currency although they do not mint any coins of their own. This has now changed - since 2014 Andorra now has its own coins minted. Other states (Monaco,San Marino and the Vatican) although they mint their own coins are not members of the European Union.

Although to collect all the Euro coins produced is beyond most people's budgets (although still doable),by selecting a suitable sub niche of the market a modest outlay will enable you to complete your chosen niche - every collector's dream!

The eight Euro Coin denominations in circulation are:

  • 1 cent, 2 cent, 5 cent - copper coloured
  • 10 cent,20 cent, 50 cent - brass coloured
  • 1 Euro - silver centre surrounded by a gold ring
  • 2 Euro - gold centre surrounded by a silver ring.

One side of the Euro coins remains the same regardless of the country it was minted in. This is the common side that displays the value of the coin.

On the other side (National Side) a motif (or several motifs ) appear which are representative of the country of issue.

This varies from only one motif e.g. Ireland to 8 motifs e.g. Greece.

Details of the motifs are given in the pages dealing with the respective countries.

At the present time (2017) there are 23 states that mint their own Euro coins - these together with the year when they commenced minting are listed (alphabetically) below.

Countries and years of Minting

Country Year of Minting Country
Year of Minting
Andorra 2014 Austria 2002
Belgium 1999 Cyprus 2008
Estonia 2011 Finland 1999
France 1999 Germany 2002
Greece 2002 Ireland 2002
Italy 2002 Latvia 2014
Lithuania 2015 Luxenbourg 2002
Malta 2008 Monaco 2001
Netherland 1999 Portugal 2002
San Marino 2002 Slovakia 2009
Slovenia 2007 Spain 1999
Vatican 2002

Commemorative Coins.

Initially it was decided that the country specific sides of the Euro coins could not be changed. This decision was reversed in 2004 which in effect gave birth to the two Euro commemorative coins (also known as commemorative issues) - a welcome decision for collectors.

The new freedom was however circumscribed with certain conditions and recommendations.

Firstly to preserve a sense of continuity and to avoid the general public becoming confused it was decreed that the standard national side could not be changed before 2008 unless the head of state depicted on the coin should die beforehand. (This did in fact happen in the case on Monaco and the Vatican).

Frequency: Each country may only issue one commemorative per year.

As from 2013 this will be changed to two commemorative coins per year.

Quantity : The number of commemorative coins issued by any country in a year is restricted to the larger of:

a ) 0,1 % of the total number of 2 Euro coins in circulation in the whole Euro zone.
(this limit can be increased to 2 % if an event of special significance is to be
commemorated but then the issuing country may not issue any further commemorative 2 Euro coins for four years)

b) 5 % of the 2 Euro coins in circulation in the country issuing the commemorative coin.

There have been three general commemorative issues - where the coins were issued by all members of the European Union who are also in the Euro zone.

These were:

  • 2007 commemorating the signing of the Rome Agreement
  • 2009 commemorating 10 years of the European customs union.
  • 2012 commemorating 10 years of the Euro as official currency in the Euro zone.
  • 2015 commemorating 30 years of the European flag representing the EU.

The design on these issues was the same for all countries , the name of the issuing country is however also shown.

States were allowed to issue their own national commemorative 2 Euro coins in these years - so in effect the rule allowing only one commemorative coin per year was relaxed in this instance.

Note these general commemorative coins were not issued by Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican as although they are in the Euro zone, they are not members of the European union.