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Andorra Prepares for Euro Coins
By Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News
July 23, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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Euro coins of the Vatican are of great interest to modern coin collectors. The postage stamp size city-state issues small numbers of euro coins annually, making them almost instant collectibles. The Vatican issues euro coins on the premise the city-state based its previous coinage on the Italian lira. Today Italy is a participant in the European Union currency union. The Vatican by default now uses the euro as its currency as well.

Monaco and San Marino are also de facto euro coinage city-states, due to their monetary ties to France and Italy respectively. Although their euro coins are not sought as vigorously as are those of Vatican City, these coinages are of great interest to euro collectors as well.

What if yet another small independent state was to begin issuing circulation rather than commemorative euro coins? Well, it appears the tiny Principality of Andorra may be about to join that exclusive club.

Andorra requested the right to issue euro denominated coins in 2003. The application was submitted to and eventually approved by the Council of Europe. Andorra has had this approval for the euro to serve as the sole legal tender for the principality since April 1, 2012. The right to issue euro coins began July 1, 2013, however the Andorran Mint (Servei d’Emissions de la Vegueria Episcopal) has announced its first euro coins won’t be released until Jan. 1, 2014.

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Andorra is situated in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains. The principality is bordered by Spain and by France. Despite its small population and geographic size Andorra has been authorized to issue up to 2.5 million coins for its general use. Prior to 2002 when both Spain and France adopted the euro Andorra used both of their currencies (Spanish peseta and French franc) in circulation.

Designs for the 2014 Andorra euro coins were selected from a national competition in April. Models for these coins will be unveiled in September. It is understood the coins will be struck both by Real Casa de la Moneda in Spain and by Monnaie de Paris in France. It is not known if mintmarks will appear or not.

It is understood the head of a Pyrenean chamois or goat antelope will appear on the 1-, 2-, and 5-euro cent coins. A portion of the Fresco of Christ in Majesty located in the Esglesia de Sant Marti de la Cortinada church will be featured on the 10-, 20-, and 50-cent coins, while the 16th century home of the Consell General or Andorran Parliament called Casa de la Vall (Valley House) will be depicted on the 1-euro coin. The 2 euro will feature the heraldry of the principality.

The “European Union” side of each coin will use the generic designs appearing on all other coins issued by currency union members.

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