World Coins

France places activist Simone Veil on new €2 coin

Politician, Holocaust survivor and abortion advocate Simone Veil is appearing on a new €2 coin from France.

Coin image courtesy of the European Commission.

Simone Veil, a survivor of the Holocaust who went on to be an integral leader in France’s abortion laws, is the subject of a new circulating commemorative €2 coin from France. 

The obverse design displays a portrait of Veil, who died in June 2017 at the age of 89 years old.

After surviving deportation to Auschwitz, she went on to become one of the most important actors in Europe’s rebuilding. 


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She was the first elected president of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1982, and the French abortion laws bearing her name were instituted in 1975. 

In 2008, she was elected to the French Academy.

On the coin, the deportation registration number she was assigned appears on her collar. The background depicts the European Parliament, and on it her name, key dates, indication of the country as RF, year of issuance 2018 and the Mint marks are inscribed.

In total 15 million coins are due for release in May or June. 

The ringed-bimetallic coin has a copper-nickel core and copper-aluminum-nickel ring.

The coin’s outer ring depicts the 12 stars of the European flag. The common reverse shows a map of the European Union.

The €2 coin weighs 8.5 grams and measures 25.75 millimeters in diameter.

Each nation is allowed to issue up to two different circulating commemorative designs annually, with designs of their choosing, though few nations issue the maximum number of designs. Joint euro programs like the 2015 coins honoring the 30th anniversary of flag of the European Union do not count toward this limit.


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