World Coins

Malta’s new circulating €2 coin shows megalithic temple

The Ggantija temples, among the world’s oldest free-standing structures, are the subject of Malta’s new circulating commemorative €2 coin.

Coin image courtesy of the European Commission; temple image courtesy of Wikipedia user Hamelin de Guettelet.

Malta’s newest circulating commemorative €2 coin celebrates something really old.

The 2016 coin, due for release in August, honors a megalithic temple complex from the Neolithic Period on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The Ggantija temples are the earliest of the Megalithic Temples of Malta, and are honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The complex is among the world’s oldest free-standing structures and among the oldest religious structures. 

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Built approximately in the 36th century B.C., Ggantija pre-dates Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. The makers erected the two Ggantija temples during the Neolithic Period (circa 3600 to 2500 B.C.), which makes these temples more than 5,500 years old.

The coin shows the temple complex, and inscriptions identify the buildings and their age. Other inscriptions found on the ringed-bimetallic coin include the issuing country, year of issue and Mint master mark. 

In total 350,000 coins are due for release.  

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 the flag of the European Union do not count toward this limit.

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