1 euro coins

1 euro
European Union[1]
Value 1 euro
Mass  7.5 g
Diameter  23.25 mm
Thickness  2.33 mm
Edge Alternating segments, three smooth, three finely ribbed
Composition Outer segment: nickel brass.
Inner segment: three layers: copper-nickel, nickel and copper-nickel.
Years of minting 2002–present (from 1999 only for France, Finland, Spain, Belgium and the Nederlands; from 2001 only for Monaco)
Transparent bar.gif
Design 26 variations, see below.
Designer Various
Design date Various
1 EURO RE-15.jpeg
Design Map of Europe with the denomination shown in Latin characters
Designer Luc Luycx
Design date 2007

1 euro coins (€1) are made of two alloys: the inner part of cupronickel, the outer part of nickel brass. All coins have a common reverse side and country-specific national sides. The coin has been used since 2002, with the present common side design dating from 2007.

As of September 2010, there are estimated to be 6.290 billion one euro coins in circulation, making it the third least circulated euro coin (but combined it is the second highest value).[2]



The coin dates from 2002, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12 member eurozone and its related territories. The common side was designed by Luc Luycx, a Belgian artist who won a Europe-wide competition to design the new coins. The design of the one and two euro coins were intended to show the European Union (EU) as a whole with the then 15 countries more closely joined together than on the 10 to 50 cent coins (the 1 to 5 cent coins showed the EU as one, though intending to show its place in the world).

The national sides, then 15 (eurozone + Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican who could mint their own) were each designed according to national competitions, though to specifications which applied to all coins such as the requirement of including twelve stars (see euro coins for more). 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. This happened in Monaco and the Vatican City resulting in three new designs in circulation (the Vatican had an interim design until the new Pope was selected). National designs have seen some changes due to new rules stating that national designs should include the name of the issuing country (Finland and Belgium both did not show their name, and hence have made minor changes). As of 2010, Austria, Germany and Greece are obliged to change their designs due this requirement in the future.

As the EU's membership has since expanded in 2004 and 2007, with further expansions envisaged, the common face of all euro coins from the value of 10 cent and above were redesigned in 2007 to show a new map. This map showed Europe, not just the EU, as one continuous landmass, however Cyprus was moved west as the map cut off after the Bosporus (which was seen as excluding Turkey for political reasons). The redesign in 2007, rather than in 2004, was due to the fact that 2007 saw the first enlargement of the eurozone; the entry of Slovenia. Hence, the Slovenian design was added to the designs in circulation. Two more designs were added in 2008 with the entry of Cyprus and Malta and another one in 2009 with Slovakia. 2011 will see the addition of the Estonian design.


Edge of all €1 coins

The coins are composed of two alloys. The inner circle is composed of three layers (copper-nickel, nickel, copper-nickel) and the outer ring of nickel brass giving them a two colour appearance. The diameter of the coins are 23.25 mm, a 2.33 mm thickness and a mass of 7.5 grams. The coins' edges consist of alternating segments, three smooth, three finely ribbed. The coins have been used from 2002, though some are dated 1999 which is the year the euro was created as a currency, but not put into general circulation.

Reverse (common) side

The reverse (used from 2007 onwards) was designed by Luc Luycx and displays a map of Europe, not including Iceland and cutting off, in a semicircle, at the Bosporus, north through the middle of Ukraine, then Russia and through northern Scandinavia. Cyprus is located further west than it should be and Malta is shown disproportionally large so it appears on the map. The map has numerous indentations giving an appearance of geography rather than a flat design. Six fine lines cut across the map except where there is landmass and have a star at each end - reflecting the twelve stars on the flag of Europe. Across the map is the word EURO, and a large number 1 appears to the left hand side of the coin. The designers initials, LL, appear next to Cyprus.

Luc Luycx designed the original coin, which was much the same except the design was only of the then 15 members in their entirety and showing border and no geographic features. The map was less detailed and the lines the stars were upon cut through where there would be landmass in eastern Europe if it were shown.

Obverse (national) side

The obverse side of the coin depends on the issuing country. All have to include twelve stars (in most cases a circle around the edge), the engraver's initials and the year of issue. New designs also have to include the name or initials of the issuing country. The side cannot repeat the denomination of the coin unless the issuing country uses an alphabet other than Latin (currently, Greece is the only such country, hence "1 EYPΩ" is engraved upon its coin. Austria is currently in breach of the revised rules, but has so far not announced plans to remove "1 EURO" from its coin).

Description Image
The Austrian design features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (with his signature), a famous German/Austrian composer, in reference to the idea of Austria as a "land of music". The Austrian flag is hatched below the denomination (which is against the new rules for national designs and hence will be changed at some point) on the right hand side. The year appears on the left hand side.
The Belgian design was chosen by a panel of leading Belgian officials, artisans and experts in numismatics. They chose an effigy of King Albert II designed by Jan Alfons Keustermans, Director of the Municipal Academy of Fine Arts of Turnhout. To the right hand side among the stars was the kings monogram, a letter "A", underneath a crown. The year was lower down, also among the stars. The 2008 redesign included the letters BE (standing for Belgium) beneath the monogram, which was moved out of the stars into the centre circle but still to the right of the King's renewed portrait. The date was also moved out and placed beneath the effigy and included two symbols either side (left: signature mark of the master of the mint, right: mint mark). Due to a rule (the same monarch's head must not be changed for 10 years), the EU forced Belgium to use the old effigy from 2009 on.

1st Series (1999–2007)

2nd Series (2008–)
The Cypriot design features the Idol of Pomos, a prehistoric sculpture dating from the 30th century BC, as an example of the island's historic civilisation and art. It was chosen in a public vote and the exact design was created by Erik Maell and Tatiana Soteropoulos. It includes the name of Cyprus in Greek and Turkish (ΚΥΠΡΟΣ and KIBRIS) each side of the idol. It has been used since Cyprus adopted the euro in 2008.
The Estonian design is a design by Lembit Lõhmus and features a geographical image of Estonia and the word “Eesti”, which means “Estonia”. The twelve stars, symbols of the EU, are surrounding the map. This was the winning design in a public vote of ten announced in December 2004. The design started to circulate in 2011.
The Finnish design depicts two Whooper Swans (the national bird of Finland) flying over Finnish landscape, the date is visible in the landscape to the lower right. The coin was designed by Pertti Mäkinen and commemorates the 80th anniversary of the independence of Finland. The first series included the initial of the mint master of the Mint of Finland, Raimo Makkonen (an M), to the left side of the horizon. When the coins were redesign to meet the new design requirements, the initial was replaced by the mint's mint mark and the letters FI (for Finland) were included on the right hand side of the horizon. Changes in the mint mark occurred several times since 2007.

1st Series (1999–2006)

2nd Series (2007–)
The French design by Joaquim Jimenez depicts a stylised tree (which symbolises life, continuity and growth) upon a hexagon (l'hexagone is often used to refer to France due to is broadly hexagonal shape). The letters RF, standing for République française (French Republic), stand each side of the trunk of the tree. Around the edge, but inside the circle of stars, is the motto of France: “liberté, égalité, fraternité”. The stars themselves are stylised, linked together by a pattern of lines. The date is located towards the bottom between the stars and the mint marks are located at the top.
The German design depicts the German coat of arms (the German eagle) which symbolises German sovereignty. The date appears at the base of the eagle and the gold behind the stars is etched to give visual effect. It was designed by Heinz and Sneschana Russewa-Hoyer.
The Greek design is based on a 5th century BC four drachma coin from Athens. The coin is of an owl (a symbol of Athens) with an olive branch to the top left. The outline of the old coin is still shown and the value of the euro in the Greek alphabet, 1 EYPΩ, is shown on the right hand side. The mint's mark is to the top and the date on the bottom side among the stars. It was designed by Georgios Stamatopoulos.
The Irish design shows an Irish harp (the Clàrsach) used as a national symbol (for example, on the Seal of the President of Ireland). Vertically on the left hand side is the word "Éire" (Ireland in the Irish language) and on the right hand side is the date. The harp motif was designed by Jarlath Hayes.
The Italian design depicts the 15th century "Vitruvian Man" drawing by Leonardo da Vinci which depicted the ideal proportions of a human body. Leonardo's work is highly symbolic as it represents the Renaissance focus on man as the measure of all things, and has simultaneously a round shape that fits the coin perfectly. As Carlo Azeglio Ciampi observed, this represents the "coin to the service of Man", instead of Man to the service of money. While the other Italian coins were chosen by the public in a television vote, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi had already decided that the Vitruvian man would be on the one euro coin. Laura Cretara designed the coin and it includes the interconnected letters IR (for Repubblica Italiana - Italian Republic). The year is to the right of the human body and the mint mark to the left.
The Luxembourgian design contains a stylised effigy of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg designed by Yvette Gastauer-Claire in consultation with the government and monarchy of Luxembourg. The left 40% of the coin has the effigy cut off and the style of the stars inverted. The year, followed by Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg in Luxembourgish) written vertically.
The Maltese design is dominated by the Maltese Cross (the emblem of the Sovereign Order of Malta: 1520–1798, now a national symbol), with the background of a darker hatched texture. The word MALTA is shown with each letter appearing in a segment across the top half of the coin to the edge of the inner circle. The date is shown at the base of the inner circle. The cross was most popular in a public vote and was designed by Noel Galea Bason, the final design once more was most popular of all other proposals and hence was used for the one euro coin. It has been used since Malta switched to the euro in 2008.
The first Monegasque design contained effigies of both Prince Rainier III (monarch) and Prince Albert II (next in line). The name MONACO was written across the top of the coin and the year across the bottom with the mint marks. Upon the death of Prince Rainier III in 2005, and the accession of Prince Albert II, the coin design was changed to just show the effigy of Prince Albert II. The rest of the design stayed the same except for the name Monaco and the date moving within the inner circle.

1st Series (2001–2005)
The Dutch design displays a stylised profile of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands over the left half of the coin, with the right hand side containing the words "Beatrix Koningin der Nederlanden" (“Beatrix Queen of The Netherlands” in Dutch) written vertically on three lines and the year written horizontally to the lower right. This design was taken from the former Dutch guilder. The mint marks are located on the bottom of the outer ring and the twelve stars are compressed onto the left side of the coin only, rather than forming a full circle.
The Portuguese design shows the royal seal of 1144 surrounded by the country's castles and five escutcheona with silver bezants set in relation to the surrounding European stars which is supposed to symbolise dialogue, exchange of values and dynamics in the building of Europe. Between the castles is the numbers of the year towards the bottom and the letters of the name Portugal between the upper icons. The stars are inset on a ridge.
 San Marino:
The Sammarinese design features the coat of arms of San Marino. The date is located to the top left and the mint mark to the top right. San Marino is written along the bottom of the coat of arms.
The Slovak design came into use in 2009, when Slovakia adopted the euro. It features the Coat of arms of Slovakia, a double cross on three hills extending across the lower three stars. The background is a relief of rocks, representing the stability and strength of Slovakia. "SLOVENSKO" (Slovakia) is written to the right of the emblem and the date to the lower left. The design was chosen by a public competition and vote in 2005, with Ivan Řehák creating this winning design. His initials appear under the right branch of the cross, and the mint mark under the left branch.
The Slovenian design came into use in 2007 and was designed by Miljenko Licul, Maja Licul and Janez Boljka. The coin contains a portrait of Primož Trubar, a Protestant reformer and author of the first book written in the Slovene language. Around the portrait are the words "Stati inu obstati" (to stand and withstand) and the letters of the name SLOVENIJA (Slovenia) are placed between the stars on the right hand side. On the left hand side the date is located between the stars and the mint mark is next to the bottom star, however, it has changed several times since 2007.
The Spanish design has an effigy of King Juan Carlos I designed by Luis José Díaz. To his left on a curved raised area is the name "España" (Spain) and four stars on the right hand size are on a raise area in the same manner. The mint mark is located beneath España and the date on the lower portion between the stars. Spain changed its design in 2010, removing the curved raised area for the country's name and the stars, and moving the date from the outer ring of the coin.

1st Series (1999–2009)

2nd Series (2010-)
 Vatican City:
The Vatican design has changed two times. The first displayed an effigy of Pope John Paul II. The name CITTA DEL VATICANO (Vatican City), followed by the year and mint mark, was written in a break between the stars below. Following the death of John Paul II in 2005, a new coin was issued during the Sede vacante until a new Pope was chosen. This contained the insignia of the Apostolic Chamber and the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain. When Pope Benedict XVI was elected, his effigy appeared on the coins, with the name of the city now broken to his top right with the year and mint mark in the middle to his right.

1st Series (2002–2005)

2nd Series (2005)

3rd Series (2006–)

Planned designs

Austria, Germany and Greece will also at some point need to update their designs to comply with guidelines stating they must include the issuing state's name or initial, and not repeat the denomination of the coin.

In addition, there are several EU states that have not yet adopted the euro, some of them have already agreed upon their coin designs however it is not know exactly when they will adopt the currency, and hence these are not yet minted. See enlargement of the Eurozone for expected entry dates of these countries.


€1 coins have been produced every year in Belgium, Finland, France, the Netherlands and Spain. In Austria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxemburg, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican City no €1 coins were minted dated 1999, 2000 and 2001. In Monaco, no €1 coins were minted in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2010. Malta did not issue €1 coins in 2009. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia have produced coins every year since their respective entries to the eurozone.

Proof €1 coins are minted by the majority, but not all, of the eurozone states. The most valuable planned issue of a €1 coin was by Vatican City in 2002. It is in proof condition and it is worth more than €100[citation needed]. However the French mint marks were mistakenly not placed on some 2007 Monaco coins which are hence worth more than €200 to collectors[citation needed].

Country Issues
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
 Austria 10/10
 Belgium 13/13
 Cyprus 2/0
 Estonia 1/0
 Finland 13/12
 France 13/13
 Germany 50/50 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
 Greece 10/0 2
 Ireland 10/3
 Italy 9/8
 Luxembourg 9/9
 Malta 1/0
 Monaco 5/3
 Netherlands 13/13
 Portugal 10/10
 San Marino 10/3
 Slovenia 5/3
 Slovakia 3/3
 Spain 13/8
 Vatican City 10/9 2
Total (377) 206/171 5 4 5 4 6 5 20 14 19 15 18 15 19 15 18 16 20 16 21 17 22 18 20 18 18 14
  green – €1 coin minted
  red - €1 coin was not minted
  black - not yet part of the eurozone

PP means the Proof condition coins. Numbers means if more than one coin was minted in that year in that condition by the country. In Germany, there are 5 mint marks, so they mint 10 types of coins in every year. In Greece, there were coins in 2002 which were minted in Finland with S mint mark. In the Vatican, there were coins minted with John Paul II's effigy, and with "Sede Vacante" image in 2005.

Error coins

There are several error 1 euro coins: Italian types from 2002 without mintmarks; Portuguese coins, also from 2002 with another type of edging (29 stripes instead of 28) and from 2008 with the first type of the common side, officially used until 2007; and the famous Monegasque coin from 2007 without mint marks.


  1. ^ Institutions and the members of the Eurozone
  2. ^ Banknotes and coins in circulation, European Central Bank

External links

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