World Coins

Greece unveils designs for commemorative €2 coins

Greece is issuing circulating commemorative €2 coins in 2018 honoring the anniversary of Greek annexation of a group of islands called the Dodecanese, left, and the 75th anniversary of the death of poet Kostis Palamis, right.

Images courtesy of the European Commission.

Greece has announced the themes and unveiled designs for both of its 2018 circulating commemorative €2 coins.

One of the coins marks 70 years since the union of the Dodecanese with Greece. 

The Dodecanese is a name meaning “The Twelve Islands,” and today denotes an island group in the southeastern Aegean Sea, comprising 15 major islands and 93 smaller islands that were under other rule for 740 years. 

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Following World War II, they were formally united with Greece by the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy. 

The design, confined to the copper-nickel core of the ringed-bimetallic coin, features in its center a rose, the symbol of Rhodes (one of the main islands in the group), inspired from a coin minted by the ancient city of Rhodes, with stylized waves fanning out to the core’s rim border.

Inscribed along that rim is a legend in Greek translating to “1948-2018 the union of the Dodecanese with Greece and Hellenic Republic.”

The second coin will celebrate Greek poet Kostis Palamas (1859 to 1943) 75 years after his death. 

A portrait of the artist is joined by his name and the country name in Greek. 

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Both coins include the palmette Mint mark of the Greek Mint and the monogram of the artist, George Stamatopoulos.

In total, 750,000 commemorative €2 coins per design are expected to be released sometime in the “middle of 2018,” according to an announcement from the European Commission. 

The coin’s outer, copper-aluminum-nickel 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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