General

  1. Who uses the Euro?
    1. Overseas territories
    2. Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City
    3. Montenegro and Kosovo
    4. Andorra
  2. Which countries are getting the Euro and when?
  3. What do all of the abbreviations/acronyms stand for?
  4. What does the Euro symbol look like?
  5. How does everyone in Europe say Euro?
  6. How does everyone in Europe spell Euro?
  7. What is the exchange rate?
  8. What are old currencies worth in Euro?
  9. What is the difference between the EU and the EMU?
  10. Why doesn't the UK, Sweden and Denmark use the Euro?
  11. What is ERM I?
  12. What is ERM II?

Euro Coins

  1. Which side of the Euro coin is the reverse and which is the obverse?
  2. Where can Euro collector coins be purchased?
  3. How many Euro coins are there?
  4. Is there a poster which has all designs of the standard issue Euro coins?
  5. Does the design of the Euro coins ever change?
  6. What is the appropriate name for the mintmarks on some coins?
  7. Which countries use mintmarks and mint master/privy marks?
  8. Why do some countries have no coins dated 1999, 2000 and 2001?
  9. Why doesn't Luxembourg have a second series?
  10. Why doesn't Slovenia have a second series?
  11. What is the difference between a new series and an amended design?
  12. Why are there no coins in circulation from specific countries during certain years?
  13. Are there any commemorative coins?
  14. How many €2 Commemorative coins have been issued?
  15. What is the Bundesländer Series?
  16. What is the Spanish UNESCO Series?

Euro Banknotes

  1. What kind of security features are there for the Euro Banknotes?
  2. Which country are the Euro Banknotes from?
  3. Which country produces the most banknotes?
  4. Why are there two spellings of Euro on banknotes?
  5. What kinds of codes are used on Euro banknotes?

Eurozone Map
  Members of the EMU. Also referred to as the 'Eurozone'.
  EU Member state participating in ERMII with a Euro adoption date.
  EU member states participating in ERMII, who do not have a Euro adoption date.
  EU member states not participating in ERMII.
  Non EMU members using the Euro as its currency.

Who uses the Euro?

The Following countries currently use the Euro as their currency:

    Austria
    Belgium
    Cyprus
    Estonia
    Finland
    France
    Germany
    Greece
    Ireland
    Italy
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Netherlands
    Portugal
    Spain
    Slovakia
    Slovenia

Overseas territories (inset of map at right) of the above countries also use the Euro as their currencies:

     Azores (Portugal)
    Madeira (Portugal)
    Canary Islands (Spain)
    French Guiana (France)
    Guadeloupe (France)
    Martinique (France)
    Réunion (France)

In addition to these territories, the French Islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and Mayotte are French overseas territorial communities not forming part of the EU which previously used the French franc, now use the Euro by virtue of an agreement with the Union.

Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City

Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are permitted to use and issue their own Euro coins even though they are not members of the EU. Prior to the Euro, Monaco had their own currency, minted in France. When France began using the Euro, Monaco was permitted to issue their own sets of Euro coins. The same arrangements were made between Italy and San Marino and Vatican City. This special circumstance came after negotiations with the European Central Bank and those governments.

Montenegro and Kosovo

Montenegro and Kosovo used the German mark as their currency prior to the Euro changeover in 2002. The Euro is therefore the de facto currency. They use the Euro as their currency, but do not issue their own coins.

Andorra

The Principality of Andorra never had an official currency and used the Spanish peseta and the French franc prior to the replacement of both by the Euro. Andorra has been granted permission to use the Euro as its currency effective 11 May 2004. This agreement is in conjunction with the process of negotiating their own issuance of Euro coins with the ECB, similar to the agreement between the ECB and San Marino, Vatican City and Monaco.

Who uses the Euro? Back to Top

Which countries are getting the Euro and when?

Of the 10 EU member states not currently using the Euro;

2 are participants in ERMII and have a targeted date for Euro adoption:

     Lithuania- January 2012 (Design chosen- SEE HERE)
     Latvia- not before 2013 (Design chosen- SEE HERE)

6 are non-participants in ERMII but are required to adopt the Euro and have a loose timeframe for Euro adoption:

     Poland- January 2014
     Bulgaria- January 2014
     Czech Republic- January 2014
     Sweden- not before 2013
     Hungary- January 2014
     Romania- not before 2014

2 have a derogation to adopt the Euro (SEE Why doesn't the UK Sweden and Denmark use the Euro? for more information):

     Denmark- awaiting majority results in favor of adoption in future referendum
     United Kingdom- awaiting '5 economic tests' results and majority result in favor of adoption in future referendum

Which countries are getting the Euro and when? Back to Top

What do all of the abbreviations/acronyms stand for?

Please see Abbreviations and Acronyms in the website's appendix.

What do all of the abbreviations/acronyms stand for? Back to Top

What does the Euro symbol look like?

The Euro symbol was designed by Alain Billiet of Belgium.

What does the Euro symbol look like? Back to Top

How does everyone in Europe say Euro?

Every language has its own interpretation of the word 'Euro'. Most languages have different inflections, many pronounce it the same almost everywhere. The simplicity and familiarity with the word Europe across all languages is the only reason the single European currency is called 'Euro'.

How does everyone in Europe say Euro? Back to Top

How does everyone in Europe spell Euro?

Spelling of the words "Euro" and "cent"
in official community languages
as used in community legislative acts
Language Countries Expressed as an amount With definite article
one unit several units singular plural
Bulgarian (BG) Bulgaria 1 евро
1 цент
100 евро
2 цента; 100 центов
евро
цент
евро
цент
Danish (DA) Denmark 1 Euro
1 Cent
100 Euro
100 Cent
euroen
centen
euroene
centene
Dutch (NL) Netherlands, Belgium 1 Euro
1 cent
100 Euro
100 cent
de Euro
de cent
de Euro’s
de centen
German (DE) Germany, Austria, Belgium 1 Euro
1 Cent
100 Euro
100 Cent
der Euro
der Cent
die Euro
die Cent
Greek (EL) Greece, Cyprus 1 ευρώ
1 λεπτό
100 ευρώ
100 λεπτά
το ευρώ
το λεπτό
τα ευρώ
τα λεπτά
English (EN) Ireland 1 Euro
1 cent
100 euro1
100 cent1
the Euro
the cent
the euro1
the cent1
Estonian (ET) Estonia 1 euro
1 cent
100 eurot
100 senti
euro
sent
eurod
sendid
Finnish (FI) Finland 1 Euro
1 sentti
100 euroa2
100 senttiä2
Euro
sentti
eurot
sentit
French (FR) France, Belgium, Luxembourg 1 Euro
1 cent
100 euros
100 cents
l'euro
le cent
les euros
les cents
Italian (IT) Italy 1 Euro
1 cent
100 Euro
100 cent
l’Euro
il cent
gli Euro
i cent
Latvian (LV) Latvia 1 eiro
1 cents
100 eiro
100 centi
eiro
cent
eiro
centi
Lithuanian (LT) Lithuania 1 euras
1 cent
100 eurų
100 centų
euras
centas
eurai
centai
Portuguese (PT) Portugal 1 Euro
1 cent
100 euros
100 cents
o Euro
o cent
os euros
os cents
Slovenian (SL) Slovenia 1 evro
1 cent
2 evra; 3, 4 evri; 5-100 evrov
2 centa; 3,4 centi; 5-100 centov
evro
cent
evri
centi
Slovak (SK) Slovakia 1 euro3
1 cent
100 eur3
100 centov
Euro
cent
eurá3
centy3
Spanish (ES) Spain 1 Euro
1 cent
100 euros
100 cents
el Euro
el cent
los euros
los cents
Swedish (SV) Sweden, Finland 1 Euro
1 cent
100 Euro
100 cent
euron4
centen
eurorna4
centen

The official abbreviation, according to ISO 4217, for "Euro" is "EUR" in all languages.

There is no official abbreviation for "cent", but one could reflect on using either "c" or "ct".

  1. This spelling without an "s" may be seen as departing from usual English practice for currencies.
  2. The form used is the singular partitive form.
  3. Thanks to 'Morpheus', in Slovakia, for a correction to the Slovak spellings.
  4. Used for references to "the currency" or coins.
How does everyone in Europe spell Euro? Back to Top

What is the exchange rate?

Please see Exchange Rate in the website's appendix.

What is the exchange rate? Back to Top

What are old currencies worth in Euro?

Exchange and Rate Mechanism frozen exchange rates between EMU member currencies and the Euro
  Exchange Rate Currency Name
Currency Abbreviation Country
Date of Rate Establishment
1 EUR =
13.7603 Austrian schilling ATS Austria 31 December 1998
40.3399 Belgian franc BEF Belgium 31 December 1998
746.038 Danish krone3 DKK Denmark 31 December 1998
1.95583 Deutsche mark DEM Germany 31 December 1998
5.94573 Finnish mark FIM Finland 31 December 1998
6.55957 French franc FRF France 31 December 1998
Monégasque franc MCF Monaco
.787564 Irish pound IEP Ireland 31 December 1998
1936.27 Italian lira ITL Italy 31 December 1998
Sammarinese lira SML San Marino
Vatican lira VAL Vatican City
40.3399 Luxembourg franc LUF Luxembourg 31 December 1998
2.20371 Dutch guilder NLG Netherlands 31 December 1998
200.482 Portuguese escudo PTE Portugal 31 December 1998
166.386 Spanish peseta ESP Spain 31 December 1998
340.750 Greek drachma GRD Greece 19 June 2000
15.6466 Estonian kroon3 EEK Estonia 27 June 2004
3.45280 Lithuanian lita3 LTL Lithuania 27 June 2004
239.640 Slovenian tolar SIT Slovenia 27 June 2004
.585274 Cypriot pound CYP Cyprus 29 April 2005
.702804 Latvian lat3 LVL Latvia 29 April 2005
.429300 Maltese lira MTL Malta 29 April 2005
30.12601 2 Slovak koruna SKK Slovakia 25 November 2005

  1. Before 17 March 2007, the exchange rate was 1 EUR = 38.4550 SKK.
  2. Before 8 July 2008, the exchange rate was 1 EUR = 35.4424 SKK.
  3. Euro adoption has not yet taken place for Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
What are old currencies worth in Euro? Back to Top

What is the difference between the EU and the EMU?

The EU is the European Union. As of 1 January 2007, there are 27 members of the European union.

Growth of the European Union since the Treaty of Rome, 1957
Member State Totals: Year of entry into the EU
1957 1973 1981 1986 1995 2004 2007
             
Belgium Denmark Greece Portugal Austria Cyprus Bulgaria
France United Kingdom   Spain Finland Czech Republic Romania
Germany Ireland     Sweden Estonia  
Italy         Hungary  
Luxembourg         Latvia  
The Netherlands         Lithuania  
          Malta  
          Poland  
          Slovakia  
          Slovenia  
             
6 9 10 12 15 25 27

The EMU is the 'European Monetary Union', also known as the 'Euro Zone' and 'Euro Area'. This is a collection of EU Member States and three non-EU countries who use the euro as a single currency. Of the 27 current members of the EU, 16 of them use the euro as their currency, and thus are collectively referred to as the EMU.

A country can not issue a Euro unless it is part of the EU. The only exceptions to this are Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are in negotiations to form a similar relationship with the European Central Bank.

A country can be in the EU and not use the Euro. Any country coming into the EU must take part in the ERM. Only the UK, and Denmark have a derogation privilege. Sweden does not have a derogation agreement and must adopt the Euro as its currency at some point in the future.

A country can be outside the EU and still use the Euro as their official currency. Most notably are the countries of Andorra, Kosovo and Montenegro. Of these, only Andorra has an official agreement with the ECB to use the Euro as their official currency.

What is the difference between the EU and the EMU? Back to Top

Why doesn't the UK, Sweden and Denmark use the Euro?

The United Kingdom has a derogation to the original Maastricht Treaty, establishing the Euro. Unless approved by the Cabinet, Parliament and British electorate in a referendum, the UK can opt out of joining the Euro zone.

The same situation applies to Denmark, though a referendum put to the Danish electorate in December, 2000, showed a 53.2% majority oppose joining the Euro zone.

Unlike the UK and Denmark, Sweden has no such derogation to the Maastricht Treaty and therefore is expected at some point in the future to adopt the Euro.

There are several proposals for designs of the Euro for these countries. Denmark has already chosen the design of its Euro coins if and when a future referendum passes.

Why doesn't the UK Sweden and Denmark use the Euro? Back to Top

What is ERM?

ERM is an acronym which represents European Exchange Rate Mechanism. This system was introduced by the European Economic Community in March, 1979. Later ratified by the Treaty of Maastricht, it was designed to reduce the exchange rate variability between the currencies of participant members, in order to introduce a stable element as pt of the economic enforcement process of the European Monetary System (EMS) to establish Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This single economic measure was referred to as the European Currency Unit (ECU), which became the Euro in January, 1999.

Participation in the ERM required a currency stability margin of 2.25% delta from bilateral rates measured in ECUs (Italy was allowed a 6% margin). The British Pound Sterling entered into the ERM in 1990, but was forced to withdraw two years later due to escalating inflation falling outside of the 2.25% margin.

The margin was increased to 15% in 1993 due, in part, to the failure of the British Pound and speculation that the French Franc would come to a similar fate.

Ahead of Euro adoption, ECU exchange rates were frozen in the original Euro zone countries. On 31 December 1998, the value of the Euro was established based on these rates and the ECU was replaced.

Establishing and adhering to the ERM or ERM II is the first step toward adoption of the Euro as a country's currency. It is a standard by which the current currency must measure itself in terms of inflation and exchange over a period of time. Each currency's value is taken into account when a rate of ERM is established. The currency must then remain at this rate for at least three years before Euro introduction can take place.

What is the ERM? Back to Top

What is ERM II?

ERM II is an extension and replacement for the original ERM agreements. The ERM II allows for new EU countries to establish similar economic policies in preparation for an eventual Euro adoption.

What is ERM II? Back to Top

Which side of the Euro coin is the reverse and which is the obverse?

The numismatic terms 'reverse' and 'obverse' are designations of the two sides of a coin. Other terms also apply to describe the two sides of a coin: 'heads, front' for obverse and 'tails, back' for reverse. For traditional coin-issuing western monetary systems, the term 'obverse' refers to the 'front' of the coin. This is applied to describe, for example, a monarch's portrait on British coins, or a president's portrait on American coins.

Since the adoption of the Euro by the initial 12 countries in 2002, these terms have not been applied with any sort of consistency to the sides of the Euro coins. The Euro is one of the most unique currency systems in the history of the world and one of the first to apply one monetary system and currency to several countries. This presents a problem for continued use of the traditional numismatic terms for the two coin sides.

With regard to Euro coins, there is a 'Common Side' or 'Common Face' and a 'National Side' or 'National Face'. The 'Common' side only has eight designs (not considering the 2007 re-design), one for each denomination of Euro coin. The 'National' side has a different design for each of the countries participating in the EMU. For example, the 1 Euro-cent coin has only one design on the 'Common Side' across the coin-issuing members of the EMU, however, there are twenty-three designs on the 'National Side' - one for each of the EMU members (including a handful of second and third series of regular circulation coins).

With precedent set forth by the European Central Bank and the European System of National Banks, these terms equate the 'Common Side' or 'Common Face' with the 'reverse' or 'back' and the 'National Side' or 'National Face' with the 'obverse' or 'front'.

Contradictions on official documents published by ECOFIN may stem from translating 'obverse' and 'reverse' from one EU language to another EU language.

In all matters, the following should be observed when applying terms to circulation Euro coins (the 1 Euro-cent coin from Germany is used as the graphic example):

Obverse Reverse
National Side Common Side
National Face Common Face
front back
Which side of the Euro coin is the reverse and which is the obverse? Back to Top

Where can Euro collector coins be purchased?

This website does not contain any information on purchasing Euro collector coins or any other information about purchasing coins. The European Central Bank has a page of links to other Central Banks in the Euro Zone for this kind of information.

Please see here: http://www.ecb.int/bc/euro/coins/collect/html/index.en.html.

Where can Euro collector coins be purchased? Back to Top

How many Euro coins are there?

A full accounting of the variant designs issued since production of the Euro began in 1999 has moved to the website's appendix. Please see there: The Euro- Appendix: Euro Coin Variant Count

With regard to actual quantity, as of 30 September 2008, there are approximately 80,677,000,000 coins in circulation in the Eurozone.

How many Euro coins are there? Back to Top

Is there a poster which has all designs of the standard issue Euro coins?

The poster containing the designs for the euro coins has been taken offline due to theft and plagiarism. Please use The Euro Information Website Forum and follow the directions on obtaining this file.

Is there a poster which has all designs of the standard issue Euro coins? Back to Top

Does the design of the Euro coins ever change?

The short answer is yes. Since the Euro was adopted in 2002, Belgium, Monaco and Spain have changed their national designs once. Vatican City has changed theirs twice. Belgium amended their national design once and Finland did so twice (SEE: What is the difference between a new series and an amended design?). In 2007, the common face, or reverse, of the Euro coins were redesigned with a new map for the €2.00, €1.00, €0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01 denominations.

There are very strict regulations governing the design and changes to the national face of Euro coins set forth by a combination of the European Council and the European Central Bank. For further discussion and additional information on this issue, please visit this topic in The Euro Information Website Forum.

Relevant text from The Commission of the European Communities Recommendation of 19 December 2008, on common guidelines for the national sides and the issuance of euro coins intended for circulation, can be found in the website's appendix.

The Euro- Appendix: Guidelines for Circulation Coin Design and Issuance

A few existing national designs fall outside of the letter of these guidelines for a number of reasons:

Member States whose national Euro coin designs do not comply with the 2008 guidelines for design
Member State Reason for non-compliant design on all denominations unless otherwise specified Related article
Austria Lack of national identification

Repetition of the denomination and name of the single currency/subdivision
Article 2. Identification of the issuing Member State

Article 3. Absence of the currency name and denomination:
Germany Lack of national identification Article 2. Identification of the issuing Member State
Greece Lack of national identification Article 2. Identification of the issuing Member State
Netherlands Indication of the issuing Member State's name is not surrounded by the twelve stars (€0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01)

Year mark is not surrounded by the twelve stars (€0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01)

Twelve stars not depicted as on the European flag (€2.00 and €1.00)
Article 4. Design of the national sides
Luxembourg Indication of the issuing Member State's name is not surrounded by the twelve stars (€0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01)

Year mark is not surrounded by the twelve stars (€0.50, €0.20, €0.10, €0.05, €0.02 and €0.01)

Twelve stars not depicted as on the European flag (€2.00 and €1.00)
Article 4. Design of the national sides
Slovenia Indication of the issuing Member State's name is not surrounded by the twelve stars

Year mark is not surrounded by the twelve stars
Article 4. Design of the national sides
Does the design of the Euro coins ever change? Back to Top

What is the appropriate name for the mintmarks on some coins?

Mint mark definitions
Term Definition
mint mark 'Mint mark' is the appropriate term for the identification of the mint which produces coins. Almost every mint uses these marks, only two do not: The Irish Currency Centre and Münze Österreich.
currency mark
mintmaster mark 'Signature mark of the Master of the Mint' or simply 'signature mark' is the appropriate term for the identification of either the chief engraver of a mint or the director of the mint, depending on how it is used. Only three mints use these marks: Belgium, France and Netherlands. Prior to 2007, Finland also used a signature mark.
privy mark
signature mark of the Master of the Mint
What is the appropriate name for the mintmarks on some coins? Back to Top

Which countries use mintmarks and mint master/privy marks?

Only two members of the EMU do not use mintmarks:

Four members of the EMU independently use or have used mint master marks or privy marks:

SEE:

The Euro- Mintmarks
The Euro- Mintmaster Marks

Which countries use mintmarks and mint master/privy marks? Back to Top

Why do some countries have no coins dated 1999, 2000 and 2001?

Generally, the European Central Bank has authority over the Euro, however, there is individual national legislation in place which governs the mintage of coins issued from each country. These 'coinage acts' regulate the coin production parameters for each country.

Mintage Date

The coinage acts of countries with a Mintage Date stipulation specifies that the year the coin is minted, regardless of when the coins are issued, should appear on each coin.

Belgium, Finland, France, The Netherlands and Spain have Mintage Date stipulations.

Issue Date

The coinage acts of countries with an Issue Date stipulation specifies that the year the coin is issued, regardless of when the coins are minted, should appear on each coin.

Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, San Marino, Portugal and Vatican City have Issue Date stipulations.

Conclusion

Since the Euro was first issued in 2002, the countries which have an Issue Date stipulation are all dated 2002 onward, even though these coins were minted in previous years to prepare for the adoption of the Euro. As a result, there are no Euro coins dated 1999, 2000 and 2001 issued from countries with an Issue Date stipulation.

Luxembourg has no domestic mint, so their coins are minted elsewhere. Regardless of the mintage location of these coins, the Issue Date stipulation in their coinage act must be followed by whichever country mints their coins and the date stamp is therefore applied accordingly.

Since Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City do not have their own coinage acts, the date stamp is applied in accordance with the coinage act of whichever country mints these coins. France produces the Euro coins for Monaco and follows the Mintage Date stipulation and began minting Monégasque Euro coins in 2001, since the mintage quantities were so low. Sammarinese and Vatican Euro coins are minted in Italy and follows the Issue Date stipulation.

Why do some countries have no coins dated 1999, 2000 and 2001? Back to Top

Why do some countries have more than one design for their coins?

Finland, Belgium, Monaco, Spain and Vatican City have issued more than one standard series of Euro coins.

General rules prohibiting design changes to Euro coins are allowed to be suspended when a change occurs in the Heads of State depicted on Euro coins. This was the case for Monaco, when HSH Prince Ranier III passed in 2005. The present design, issued in 2006, depicts HSH Prince Albert II. Vatican City issued two additional standard series of Euro circulation coins as a result of the passing of their Head of State, HH Pope John Paul II, also in 2005. The first redesign, issued in 2005, followed a centuries old Vatican coinage tradition by depicting the arms of the interim head of state, the Cardinal Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church and the emblem of the Apostolic Camera. The second and present redesign, issued April 2006, depicts HH Pope Benedict XVI.

Finland amended the design for their Euro coins twice to comply with the recommendations of the European Commission- once in 2007, to comply with 2005 design guidelines and again in 2008 to comply with guidelines published that same year. While the nature of both amended design changes differed only slightly from the initial design and appears only as a change in markings, the overall amended designs served to comply with the current published recommendations of the time. The Mintmaster Mark was removed and a National Identification ('FI') and a Mintmark for the Finnish mint were added to the 2007 amended design. For the 2008 amended design, also the present design, the mintmark was moved from a position within the EU stars around the edge of the coins, to positions closer to the main design theme for each denomination.

Belgium issued a second standard series of Euro circulation coins to comply with the 2005 recommendations of the European Commission, but the entire coin face was redesigned. The 2008 redesign comprises of a new portrait of King Albert II, a Mintmark for the Royal Mint of Belgium, a Mintmaster Mark and a National Identification ('BE'); the monogram of Albert II was repositioned from the outer circle to the inner circle. The present design, an amendment issued in 2009, replaces the new portrait of King Albert II with the one present on the initial design. The change reflects compliance with 2008 recommendations of the European Commission governing the time period for which an update to the depiction of a reigning head of state may occur.

Spain issued a second standard series of Euro circulation coins to comply with the 2008 recommendations of the European Commission. The present 2010 redesign involves guidelines governing the outer ring of stars on each coin. A design element which depicted some of the stars in relief was removed from all of the coins and the position of the date stamp changed from the outer ring, to the inner circle on the 2 and 1 Euro denominations.

Why do some countries have more than one design for their coins Back to Top

Why doesn't Luxembourg have a second series?

The Luxembourg Euro coins have had two changes in the years since production of the Euro coins began in 1999. These changes were the result of changes in mint locations for the Luxembourg Euro coins; from 1999-2004 and again in 2009-2010, coins were minted in Utrecht, Netherlands; from 2005-2006, coins were minted in Helsinki-Vantaa, Finland; from 2007-2008, coins were minted in Paris, France.

The design of the Luxembourg coins calls for two mintmarks on either side of the dates on all the coins. When a Mintmaster Mark changes in any country where one is present (the Netherlands, France, now Belgium and formerly Finland are the only Euro coins that carry Mintmaster Marks), due to change in mint directors, a new series is not called for because this change is expected and immune to the protocols governing the design regulations for the Euro coins. In the case of Finland, Belgium and Spain, the overall scope of the design was changed when the coins became compliant with the EU recommendations. In the case of Vatican City and Monaco, the entire coin face was changed due to the passing of the Head of State depicted on the coins.

Neither the Head of State of Luxembourg passed, nor the overall scope of the design changed to meet compliance. The only aspect of the design that has changed is the Mintmark, due to change in location of minting and the Mintmaster Mark, due to change in director of mint location.

As the changes to Luxembourg's Euro coin design are limited only to different mint and mintmaster markings, associated with the change in mint location or change in mintmaster, new series are not necessitated.

Why doesn't Luxembourg have a second series? Back to Top

Why doesn't Slovenia have a second series?

The initial supply of Slovenian Euro coins were produced in 2006 in Helsinki-Vantaa, Finland and had one mintmark, a small 'Fi' located to the right of the 6 o'clock star. As of 2008, the Slovenian Euro coins are produced in Utrecht, Netherlands and bear the mintmark of the Royal Dutch Mint.

Slovenian coins minted in Finland in 2006 and 2007 do not have a Mintmaster Mark, since Finland does not use one. However, the Royal Dutch Mint uses a Mintmaster Mark. Therefore, Slovenian Euro coins dated 2008 bear this mark. When a Mintmaster Mark is added due to change in mint locations (the Netherlands, France, Belgium, now Slovenia and formerly Finland are the only Euro coins that carry Mintmaster Marks), due to change in mint directors, a new series is not called for because this change is expected and immune to the protocols governing the design regulations for the Euro coins. In the case of Finland and Belgium, the overall scope of the design was changed when the coins became compliant with the EU recommendations. In the case of Vatican City and Monaco, the entire coin face was changed due to the passing of the Head of State depicted on the coins.

Slovenian Euro coins do not depict a head of state on their coins, nor has the overall scope of the design changed to meet compliance. The only aspect of the design that has changed is the Mintmark, due to change in location of minting and an addition of a Mintmaster Mark, due to change in mint location.

As the changes to Slovenia's Euro coin design are limited only to different mint markings, associated with the change in mint location, new series are not necessitated.

Why doesn't Slovenia have a second series? Back to Top

What is the difference between a new series and an amended design?

A new series of Euro coins is a change in over all design. This means that the main design elements of the current design are replaced with a new design element that is different from the previous issue.

Since the introduction of the Euro in 2002, there have been five new series of Euro coins issued:

An amended design is a minor change in peripheral design elements. This means that a portion of the design other than the main design element of the coin has changed. This can include engraver marks, mint marks, mint master marks, edge inscriptions, national identification, etc.

Since the introduction of the Euro in 2002, there have been three amended designs issued:

Please see 'Does the design of the euro coins ever change?'

What is the difference between a new series and an amended design? Back to Top

Why are there no coins in circulation from specific countries during certain years?

The European Central Bank imposes mintage quantity restrictions for each denomination of Euro coins issued by all countries. Aside from the coinage act stipulations discussed above, several countries have not produced certain coins for general circulation during certain years.

Several factors are considered when implementing these restrictions.

The standard issue 2 Euro coin mintage quantity is tempered by issuance of commemorative 2 Euro coins. The 2 Euro Treaty of Rome Commemorative coin had a profound effect on the mintage quantities of several Euro Zone members. France, Germany, Greece and Portugal did not even issue a standard 2 Euro coin for 2007, while several other countries were given a much lower mintage quantity for their standard 2 Euro coin.

In 2005, Austria issued a 2 Euro commemorative coin, but did not issue a 2 Euro standard coin.

Other denominations are only minted by some countries for special collector sets, in either BU or Proof quality.

Monaco has not issued ains for circulation since 2003. Several denions have not been issued at all; the 1, 2 and 5 cent Euro coins from 2003, the 10, 20 and 50 cent, 1 and 2 Euro coins from 2005 were not issued. In 2007, Monaco issued a 2 Euro commemorative coin with a mintage quantity of 20,001, which totals €40,002- thus expending their total mintage allocation for that year.

San Marino has issued circulation coins for all denominations sporadically and mostly issues Euro coins for collector sets.

Vatican City has only issued circulation coins for collector sets or collector coin cards.

Why are there no coins in circulation from specific countries during certain years? Back to Top

Are there any commemorative coins?

Besides the commemorative 2 Euro coins intended for circulation, EMU members can mint other commemorative coins intended for collectors only. Certain stipulations apply to these types of coins:

Most of these commemoratives are gold and silver and go above the 2 Euro value.

In 2007, every EMU Member State issued a 2 Euro commemorative coin commemorating the 50 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which gave rise to the European Union.

SEE: 2 € Treaty of Rome 50th Anniversary Commemorative Design

Another common commemorative was issued in January 2009, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Euro.

SEE: 2 € 10 Years of EMU Commemorative Design

Are there any commemorative coins? Back to Top

How many €2 Commemorative coins have been issued?

Not counting the common commemorative issues of 2007 (Treaty of Rome) and 2009 (10 Years of EMU), there have been  commemorative circulation coins issued.  Treaty of Rome commemorative circulation coins were issued in 2007,  10 Years of EMU commemorative circulation coins were issued in 2009. Of the 18 members of the EMU, only Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and The Netherlands have not independently issued a commemorative circulation coin.

Complete lists of "Commemorative circulation coins issued to date by country" and "Commemorative circulation coins issued to date by year" are located on the website's appendix.

The Euro- Appendix: €2 Commemorative Coin Issues

SEE: €2 Commemorative Issues
SEE: €2 Commemorative Design- Treaty of Rome 50th Anniversary
SEE: €2 Commemorative Design- 10 Years of EMU

Are there any commemorative coins? Back to Top

What is the Bundesländer Series?

Germany started the commemorative coin series "Die 16 Bundesländer der Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (The 16 States of the Federal Republic of Germany) in 2006. One coin representing a German state will be issued per year between 2006 and 2021 and will coincide with that state's presidency of the 'Bundesrat'.

Since most of these coins haven't been issued, final designs have not yet been determined for those after 2012.

Planned designs in the Bundesländer Series
Year State Design See:
2006 Schleswig-Holstein Holstein Gate, Lübeck €2 Commemorative Design 2006- Germany
2007 Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Schwerin Castle, Schwerin €2 Commemorative Design 2007- Germany
2008 Hamburg St. Michaelis' Church, Hamburg €2 Commemorative Design 2008- Germany
2009 Saarland Ludwig Church in Saarbrücken €2 Commemorative Design 2009- Germany
2010 Bremen City Hall and Roland, Bremen €2 Commemorative Design 2010- Germany
2011 North Rhine-Westphalia Cologne Cathedral, Cologne €2 Commemorative Design 2011- Germany
2012 Bavaria Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau and Füssen €2 Commemorative Design 2012- Germany
2013 Baden-Württemberg Maulbronn Abbey, Maulbronn  
2014 Lower Saxony City Hall, Hanover  
2015 Hesse City Hall, Frankfurt am Main  
2016 Saxony Zwinger Palace, Dresden  
2017 Rhineland-Palatinate Porta Nigra Gate, Trier  
2018 Berlin Reichstag, Berlin  
2019 Saxony-Anhalt Cathedral of Magdeburg, Magdeburg  
2020 Thuringia Wartburg Castle, Eisenach  
2021 Brandenburg Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam  
What is the Bundesländer Series? Back to Top

What is the Spanish UNESCO Series?

Spain started the commemorative coin series "la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO" (World Heritage List of UNESCO) in 2010. One coin representing a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain will be issued annually. Since there are 41 Spanish sites (see a complete list in the forum: Spanish UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites) listed in the UNESCO register, the series will last until 2051. The year into which each site was entered into the register, or the registration number of the property, is the determining factor for the order of issue.

As of 21 December 2009, only the first six issues have been authorised by Spain's finance department.

Planned issues in the Spanish UNESCO Series
Year of
Issue
UNESCO Site See:
2010 Historic Centre of Cordoba €2 Commemorative Design 2010- Spain
2011 Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada  
2012 Burgos Cathedral  
2013 Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid  
2014 Works of Antoni Gaudí  
2015 Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain  
What is the Spanish UNESCO Series? Back to Top

What kind of security features are there for the Euro Banknotes?

The ECB has described some of the more rudimentary security features of the Euro notes, allowing the general public to authenticate their currency at a glance. However, in the interest of security, the exhaustive list of these features is a closely-guarded secret.

Still, between the official descriptions and independent discoveries made by observant users, it is thought that the Euro notes include at least thirty different security features.

For further details on banknote security features, including examples, please see The Euro- Paper Euros: Security Features.

What kind of security features are there for the Euro Banknotes? Back to Top

Which country are the Euro Banknotes from?

The first letter of the serial number uniquely identifies the country that issues the note. The W, K and J codes have been reserved for the EU member states currently not participating in the Euro.

National identification codes
Code Country
in English in official language
Z Belgium België/Belgique/Belgien
Y Greece Ελλάδα [Ellada]
X Germany Deutschland
(W) (Denmark) Danmark
V Spain España
U France France
T Ireland Éire/Ireland
S Italy Italia
(R) (Luxembourg) Luxembourg/Luxemburg/Lëtzebuerg
(Q) Not Used
P Netherlands Nederland
(O) Not Used
N Austria Österreich
M Portugal Portugal
L Finland Suomi/Finland
(K) (Sweden) Sverige
(J) (United Kingdom) United Kingdom
(I) Not Used
H Slovenia Slovenija
G Cyprus Κύπρος/Kıbrıs
F Malta Malta
E Slovakia Slovensko

The positions of Denmark and Greece have been swapped in the list of letters starting the serial numbers because Y (upsilon) is a letter of the Greek alphabet, while W is not.

Ireland's first official language is Irish; however, in the above chart it is clear the order was based on the English 'Ireland' rather than the Irish 'Éire'. Irish was made an official EU language as of 1 January 2007, but the placement of Ireland's code is not affected by this fact.

In the case of Finland, which has two official languages that are also official EU languages (Finnish and Swedish), the order was based on the Finnish 'Suomi' instead of the Swedish 'Finland', presumably because Finnish is the majority language in the country.

Belgium has three official languages, all of which are official EU languages. Luxembourg also has three official languages, with two being official EU languages. However, in these cases, the countries' positions in the list would be the same no matter which language was used.

Un-circulated euro banknotes issued by the Banque centrale du Luxembourg (R) currently bear the code letter of the NCBs of those countries in which the banknotes for Luxembourg are produced.

As the number of EMU members grows larger and unique letters in the Latin alphabet are exhausted, non-similar letters of the Greek alphabet will be used. The first Greek letter would be delta (Δ); the Greek letter gamma (Γ) would not be used since it could be mistaken for a number.

For further details on production of Euro banknotes, please see The Euro- Banknotes- Production and The Euro- Banknote Codes- Printer Code.

Which country are the Euro Banknotes from? Back to Top

Which country produces the most banknotes?

As of 1 January 2009, the banknote allocation key was changed to allow for the new member of the EMU, Slovakia, a percentage of the total Banknote production. The entire table, plus those of previous years, are all located on the website's appendix.

The Euro- Appendix: Banknote Allocation Key

For further details on banknote production, please see The Euro- Banknotes- Production.

Which country produces the most banknotes? Back to Top

Why are there two spellings of Euro on banknotes?

The Latin alphabet is used all over the European Union. Prior to the EU expansion of 2007, the only other alphabet used was the Greek alphabet, in, where else, Greece.

Therefore, to accommodate the native and adoptive speakers of Greek, the ECB authorized a second spelling of 'Euro', which appear on all Euro banknotes.

Since the EU expansion of 2007, it may become necessary for the ECB to revisit this issue and include a third spelling for those using the Cyrillic alphabet; Bulgaria is now a member of the EU and will adopt the Euro on 1 January 2010.

The three spellings in comparison are:

Comparison of spellings of 'Euro'
in three alphabets
Latin Greek Cyrillic
EURO CENT ΕΥΡΩ ΛΕΠΤΟ EBPO ЦЕНТ
Euro Cent Ευρώ Λεπτά Евро Цент
euro cent ευρώ λεπτά евро цент

The suggestion has been made that in 30 years, countries such as Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Libya and Jordan may benefit from adopting the Euro. Should that occur, the Arabic, Coptic and Hebrew alphabets will come into consideration as well.

Why are there two spellings of Euro on banknotes? Back to Top

What kinds of codes are used on Euro banknotes?

Two codes are imprinted on the Euro banknotes.

The first, a serial number, is located on the back of each Euro banknote, in the upper right and lower left corners. Within this code are several algorithms which produce a checksum and check digit when certain formulas are applied to them for the purposes of verification. Because of the need for serial number verification, none of the serial numbers are consecutively numbered. The first part of the serial number is a letter, which identifies the issuing National Central Bank for that banknote. Within any one denomination, the whole of this code is not repeated.

The second, a printer code, commonly termed 'short code' is located in various areas of each denomination on the front. This code identifies several aspects of the production process, including the printer, plate number and exact location of the banknote's position on the printer plate.

When these two codes are combined, the result is a unique code that is not reproduced within any one denomination; no one banknote exactly resembles another.

For further details on banknote codes, please see The Euro- Banknote Codes- Printer Code and The Euro- Banknote Codes- Serial Numbers.

What kinds of codes are used on Euro banknotes? Back to Top

Citations:

What kind of security features are there for the Euro Banknotes?
Which country are the Euro Banknotes from?

Information from:
"Euro banknotes." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 10 Feb 2007, 19:56 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 20 Feb 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Euro_banknotes&oldid=107141988>.

Why do some countries have no coins dated 1999, 2000 and 2001?
Why are there no coins in circulation from specific countries during certain years?

Information from:
Rob Kooy (The Netherlands).

How does everyone in Europe spell Euro?

Additional information from:
"The name of the euro in European languages." Evertype. 1 Oct 2008, 19:00 UTC. Michael Everson. <http://www.evertype.com>