Identifying marks on euro coins
Before the introduction of the euro, the current
eurozonemembers issued their own individual national coinage, most of which featured mint marks, privy marks and/or mint master marks. These marks have been continued as a part of the national designs of the euro coins, as well. This article serves to list the information about the various types of identifying marks on euro coins, including engraver and designer initials and the unique edge inscriptions found on the €2 coins.
Date stamps on euro coins
Since the euro was officially introduced in 1999, most of the EMU member countries began producing their coins ahead of the 2002 introduction date. 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.
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.
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, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican City have issue date stipulations.
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 the 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; it began minting Monégasque Euro coins only in 2001, since the mintage quantities were so low. Sammarinese and Vatican euro coins are minted in Italy and follow the issue date stipulation.
National identifying marks of euro coins
As per a recommendation defined by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union [ cite journal | title=OJ 2005/ L 186/1 | journal=
Official Journal of the European Union|date= 18 July 2005| url=http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2005/l_186/l_18620050718en00010002.pdf ] , the national designs of each member's euro coin must contain a national identification in the form of either the English or the native spelling or abbreviation of the country's name. Of the fifteen members of the Eurozone at the time these recommendations were made, five national designs — those of Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany and Greece — did not meet the criteria outlined. Of these five, two (Finland in 2007 and Belgium in 2008) have changed or amended their design to follow these recommendations, and the other three are expected to follow suit in the coming years.
The director of the "Rahapaja Oy" (Mint of Finland, LTD.) mint in Helsinki-Vantaa used a mint master's mark on Finnish euro coins minted at this location with the date stamp between 1999 and 2006.
Monegasque euro coins are produced by "Monnaie de Paris", in Pessac, France beginning in 2001 and thus bear the mint master mark of
Gérard Buquoy, Serge Levetand Hubert Larivière, directors of the mint from 2001–2002, 2003 and 2004–present, respectively.
Designer, sculptor and engraver initials on euro coins
Each country had the opportunity to design their own national side of the euro coin. Most coins bear the initials or the name of the designer somewhere in the national design. For example, all eight motives of the common reverse sides of the euro coins bear the stylized initials "LL" for
Designer, sculptor and engraver initials on standard euro coins
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