World Coins

Vatican City adopts new euro coin design in 2017

The coat of arms of Pope Francis replaces his image on new euro coins for the Vatican City starting in 2017.

Images courtesy of the European Commission.

Pope Francis does not appear on the eight denominations of euro coins minted for Vatican City for release in March. The current pope’s coat of arms replaces the pontiff, who is celebrated as a champion of the poor and someone who eschews the trappings of wealth. 

This is the fifth design change for Vatican euro coinage since adoption of the euro 15 years ago. 

The existing agreement between the European Union and Italy, which the Vatican relies on to mint its coins, includes a quota especially for the Vatican. The first annual series of papal coins entered circulation on March 1, 2002, bearing the image of then Pope John Paul II.

Since then, a Sede Vacante set was issued in 2005 upon the death of Pope John Paul II. New Vatican coins were issued for each successive pope since then: Pope Benedict XVI and, most recently, Pope Francis.

Until the EU adopted regulations mandating issuance of some Vatican euro coins at face value, sales of the Vatican’s annual euro coin sets were plagued with massive demand and occasional violence as crowds jostled to be among the first to claim the uber-rare sets. 

The Vatican’s 2017 annual Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated sets, as well as a BU 50-cent coin and other collector coins, were released March 2.

For full details, visit the Vatican City’s Philatelic and Numismatic Office website.

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