World Coins

A trio of new €2 coins expected to be issued in June

Belgium and Malta are expected to release their 2-euro coins honoring art, science and history.

All images courtesy of the European Commission.

Belgium and Malta have unveiled designs for new circulating €2 coins due for release in June in the eurozone.

The coins’ release was expected sometime in June, according to June 12 announcements in the Official Journal of the European Union, but apparently their release into circulation was still awaited at press time June 20.

The obverse, or national side, of each coin features a design specific to the respective theme being celebrated.

Belgium Art Nouveau

Belgium’s coin marks the “year of art nouveau,” which is being celebrated in that country this year.

The design shows a decorative detail from the facade of the Hotel Van Eetvelde, a town house in Brussels designed by the Belgian art nouveau architect Victor Horta and recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

The curved, asymmetrical lines of this decorative detail reflect the characteristic nature-inspired style of the art nouveau movement.

This detail fills the bottom half of the piece, leaving a vacant space in the upper half for the inscription ART NOUVEAU. At far right are the initials of designer Iris Bruijns.

Since the Royal Dutch Mint will strike the coins, the Mint mark of Utrecht, a mercury staff, is located at the far left together with the Belgian mint director Mint mark, an aster flower in front of an Erlenmeyer flask, and the country code BE and year, 2023.

In total, 155,000 coins are expected to be released.

French arrival in Malta

One of Malta’s two coins marks the arrival of the French in Malta in 1798.

In June 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte ended the rule of the Order of St. John in Malta.

During his short stay in Malta, Napoleon established a Republican government and issued a thorough reform of laws and institutions of Malta. Among other things, slavery and the privileges of nobility were abolished.

A lay state was established, and the court of the Inquisition was closed, according to the June 12 announcement in the Official Journal. At the time, the far-reaching reforms were not universally accepted by the Maltese, and it was not long before they rebelled.

The design depicts a personification of the French Republic as depicted on official letterheads of the period. At the left border is the inscription 225th ANNIVERSARY followed, from the top to the right in semi-circle, by the inscription ARRIVAL OF THE FRENCH IN MALTA. At the bottom is the year of issuance 2023. The inscriptions LIBERTÉ (Freedom) and EGALITÉ (Equality) are in the fields left and right of the image, respectively. The years 1798–2023 also appear.

In total 85,500 coins are expected to be released.

Malta and Copernicus

Malta’s other €2 coin marks the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus.

The obverse portrays Copernicus in profile, together with a stylized heliocentric representation of the universe as proposed by Copernicus. Bordering the top left is the inscription NICOLAUS COPERNICUS 1473–1543; at the bottom left is MALTA, the issuing country, followed by the year of issue, 2023, which is followed by the signature of the artist Daniela Fusco as FUSCO.

In total, 95,500 coins are scheduled for release.

About €2 coins

The €2 coins are a ringed-bimetallic construction having a copper-nickel core and copper-aluminum-nickel ring.

They weigh 8.5 grams and measure 25.75 millimeters in diameter.

Each ringed bimetallic coin’s obverse outer ring features the 12 stars of the European flag.

The common map-and-denomination design created by Luc Luycx appears on each reverse.

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 programs do not count toward this limit.

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