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Issuance of euro coins

The European Union (EU) lays down the rules governing the issuing of euro coins intended for circulation, including commemorative coins.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No. 651/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the issuance of euro coins.

SUMMARY

Member States may issue two types of euro coins: coins intended for circulation and coins intended for collection.

Coins intended for circulation

Coins intended for circulation are put into circulation at face value.

A minor proportion 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.

Each Member State whose currency is the euro may only issue two commemorative coins per year, save where:

  • commemorative coins are collectively issued by all Member States whose currency is the euro; or
  • a commemorative coin is issued on the occasion of a temporary vacancy or a provisional occupation of the function of Head of State.

The total number of commemorative coins put into circulation for each individual issue shall not exceed the higher of the following two ceilings:

  • 0.1 % of the cumulated total net number of 2-euro coins put into circulation by all Member States whose currency is the euro up to the beginning of the year preceding the year of issuance of the commemorative coin. This ceiling may be raised to 2.0 % of the cumulated total net number of 2-euro coins of all Member States whose currency is the euro if a highly symbolic subject is commemorated; or
  • 5.0 % of the cumulated total net number of 2-euro coins put into circulation by the Member State concerned up to the beginning of the year preceding the year of issuance of the commemorative coin.

Collector coins

Collector coins shall have the status of legal tender only in the issuing Member State. The identity of the issuing Member State shall be clearly and easily recognisable on the coin.

In order to differentiate them from circulation coins, collector coins shall meet all of the following criteria:

  • their face value must be different from the face value of circulation coins;
  • their image must be different to the common sides of circulation coins;
  • their colour, diameter and weight must differ significantly from those of circulation coins for at least two of these three characteristics; and
  • they must not have a shaped edge with fine scallops or a ‘Spanish flower’ shape.

Collector coins may be put on the market at or above face value.

Member States shall take all appropriate measures to discourage the use of collector coins as a means of payment.

Consultation prior to the destruction of circulation coins

Prior to the destruction of circulation coins, Member States shall consult each other and inform the Mint Directors of the Member States whose currency is the euro.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EU) No. 651/2012

16.8.2012

-

OJ L 201 of 27.7.2012

Last updated: 04.02.2013
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