National sides of euro coins

Updated: 11.05.2011

Austria

€2 bears a portrait of the pacifist Bertha von Suttner, a symbol of Austria's efforts over many decades to support peace. Edge lettering of the €2 coin: 2 EURO ***, repeated four times, alternately upright and inverted. €1 depicts the portrait of an Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The 50-cent coin shows the secession building in Vienna, illustrating the birth of art nouveau in Austria. The building symbolises the birth of a new age and represents a bridge to a new monetary era. The 20-cent coin has the Belvedere Palace on it. The 10-cent coin depicts St. Stephen's Cathedral. The 5-cent features alpine primroses. The 2-cent coin shows the edelweiss. The 1-cent coin pictures a gentian.

Belgium

Belgium's euro coins were designed by Jan Alfons Keustermans, Director of the Municipal Academy of Fine Arts of Turnhout. There are two series of coins in circulation. Both are valid. The first series depicts King Albert II in the inner part of the coin, while the royal monogram − a capital “A” underneath a crown − among 12 stars, symbolising Europe, as well as the year of issuance appear in the outer part. In 2008, Belgium slightly modified the design in order to comply with the European Commission's guidelines. The coins of the second series also show King Albert II, but the royal monogram and the year of issuance now appear in the inner part of the coin, as do the mint marks and the country code for Belgium, “BE”.

Spain

€2 and €1 depict the portrait of King Juan Carlos I de Borbón y Borbón. The text engraved on the edge of €2: 2** is repeated six times positioned alternatively right side up and upside down. 10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature the portrait of Miguel de Cervantes, the father of Spanish literature. 1, 2 and 5-cent coins depict the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.


2010

2002
The Netherlands

The Netherlands has chosen two different portraits of Queen Beatrix to be used on the coins. €2 and €1 feature the portrait of Queen Beatrix and the words Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands in Dutch are written on the coins. The 12 stars of Europe are confined to half the circumference of the coin. Edge lettering of the €2 coin: GOD * ZIJ * MET * ONS * (God be with us). 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50-cent coins show the portrait of Queen Beatrix in profile, and the words Beatrix Koningin der Nederlanden (Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands) are written around the circumference of the coins.

Ireland

The Irish euro coins have a single national design. They show the Celtic harp, a traditional symbol of Ireland, decorated with the year of issue and the inscription “Éire” − the Irish word for Ireland. The harp shown was designed by Jarlath Hayes.

Italy

Each denomination has a different design based on the masterpieces by Italy's famous artists. €2 depicts a portrait by Raphael of Dante Alighieri. The text engraved on the edge of the coin: 2* is repeated six times positioned alternatively right side up and upside down. €1 shows the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, displayed in the gallery of the Academy in Venice, illustrating the ideal proportions of the human body. The 50-cent coin depicts the statute of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback. The 20-cent coin portrays the sculpture of Umberto Boccioni, representative of the Italian futurist school. The 10-cent coin shows the painting The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. The 5-cent coin features the Flavius amphitheatre. The 2-cent coin depicts the Mole Antonellina, a tower designed in 1863 by Alessandro Antonelli. The 1-cent coin pictures the castle Castel del Monte.

Greece

€2 depicts a scene from a mosaic in Sparta (3rd century) where Europe is abducted by Zeus, who has taken the form of a bull. The text engraved on the edge of a 2 Euro coin: ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ * (The Republic of Greece in Greek). An owl motif, depicted on €1, has been copied from an ancient Athenian 4 drachma coin (5th century BC). The portrait of Eleftherios Venizelose (1864–1936), one of Greece's most prominent political figures, is shown on the 50-cent coin. The 20-cent coin is dedicated to a leading Greek and European politician and diplomat Ioannis Capodistriasele (1776–1831). The 10-cent coin features the portrait of Rigas Fereos (Velestinlis) (1757–98), a leading figure of the Greek enlightenment. The 5-cent coin shows a modern sea-going tanker, reflecting the innovative spirit of Greek shipping. The 2-cent coin depicts a corvette, a warship used during the Greek War of Independence (1821–1827). The 1-cent coin features an advanced model of an Athenian trireme, the largest warship afloat for more than 200 years, dating from the time of the Athenian democracy (fifth century BC).

Cyprus

€2 and €1 depict a cruciform idol from the Chalcolithic period (3000 BC). This characteristic example of the island’s prehistoric art reflects Cyprus’s place at the heart of civilisation and antiquity. 10, 20 and 50-cent coins show the ship of Kyrenia's merchants, which dates back to the fourth century BC. 1, 2 and 5-cent coins picture mouflon, a mountain sheep living in the wild nature of Cyprus.

Luxembourg

All the Luxembourg coins bear the profile of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri. They also bear the year of issue and the word “Luxembourg” written in Luxembourgish (Lëtzebuerg).

Malta

€2 and €1 show the emblem used by the Sovereign Order of Malta. During the Order’s rule over Malta, between 1530 and 1798, the eight-pointed cross became associated with the island and is now often referred to as the Maltese Cross.10, 20 and 50-cent coins bear the symbol of Malta, a shield displaying a heraldic representation of the Maltese national flag. Above the shield is the feature of a city state, i.e. a crown. The shield is bounded on the left by an olive branch and on the right by a palm branch. Both are traditional symbols of peace associated with Malta. The branches form a wreath which carries the inscription Repubblika ta' Malta (the Republic of Malta). The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins depict the altar at the prehistoric temple complex of Mnajdra, built around 3600 BC on a low elevation overlooking the sea.

Monaco

There are two series of coins in circulation.The first series depicts, on the €2 coin, HSH Prince Rainier III. A double portrait of HSH Prince Rainier III and HSH Hereditary Prince Albert appears on the €1 coin. The 10, 20 and 50-cent coins depict the Prince’s seal. The coat of arms of the Sovereign Princes of Monaco is shown on the 1, 2 and 5-cent coins. The second series shows, on the €2 and €1 coins, a portrait of HSH Prince Albert II. HSH Prince Albert’s monogram is depicted on the 10, 20 and 50-cent coins. The coat of arms of the Sovereign Princes of Monaco is the main feature of the design on the 1, 2 and 5-cent coins.


Albert II

Rainier III
Portugal

€1 and €2 coins depict the country's castles and coats of arms are set amid the European stars. This symbolises dialogue, the exchange of values and the dynamics of the building of Europe. The centrepiece is the royal seal of 1144. Edge lettering of the €2 coin: five coats of arms and seven castles, all equally spaced.10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature the royal seal of 1142.1, 2 and 5-cent coins bear the image of the first royal seal, from 1134, along with the inscription Portugal.

France

€1 and €2 coins bear a tree, symbolising life, continuity and growth. It is contained in a hexagon and encircled by the motto of the Republic, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (Liberty, equality, fraternity). Edge lettering of the €2 coin: 2**, repeated six times, alternately upright and inverted. 10, 20 and 50-cent coins depict the sower, a constant in the history of the French franc. 1, 2 and 5-cent coins depict a young, feminine Marianne with determined features that embody the desire for a sound and lasting Europe.

Germany

€1 and €2 coins bear the traditional symbol of German sovereignty, the eagle, surrounded by the stars of Europe. Edge lettering of the €2 coin: EINIGKEIT UND RECHT UND FREIHEIT (unity, justice and freedom) and the emblem of the Federal Eagle. 10, 20 and 50-cent coins depict the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of the division of Germany and its subsequent unification.1, 2 and 5-cent coins feature the oak twig, reminiscent of that found on the former German pfennig coins.

San Marino

€2 shows the Government building (Palazzo Pubblico). Edge lettering of the €2 coin: 2*, repeated six times, alternately upright and inverted. €1 depict the official coat of arms of the Republic. The 50-cent coin shows the Three Towers: Guaita, Cesta and Montale. The 20-cent coin features St. Marino. The Basilica St. Marino is featured on the 10-cent coin. The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins show the Third Tower (Montale), the Statue of Liberty and the First Tower (Guaita), respectively.

Slovakia

€2 and €1 depict Slovakia's national emblem – a double cross on three hills. 10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature the Bratislava Castle and the national emblem of Slovakia. 1, 2 and 5-cent coins show the peak of the High Tatras Kriváň, symbolising the independence of Slovakia, and the national emblem of Slovakia.

Slovenia

€2 shows the poet France Prešeren and the inscription Shivé naj vsi naródi (God’s blessing on all nations). The edge lettering of the €2 coin: SLOVENIJA followed by an engraved dot. €1 depicts the author of the first book printed in Slovene, Primož Trubarit. The 50-cent coin features the Triglav mountain. On the 20-cent coin there are Lipizzaner horses. The 10-cent coin features the Slovenian Parliament building designed by architect Jože Plečniki, which was not built. A sower is depicted on the 5-cent coin. The 2-cent coin features the Sovereign Enthronement Stone. The 1-cent coin bears the image of a stork.

Finland

€2 depicts cloudberries and cloudberry flowers. Edge lettering of the €2 coin: SUOMI FINLAND ***, where the * represents a lion's head. €1 shows a motif of two flying swans. 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature a heraldic lion. he heraldic lion in a variety of designs has been used on several Finnish coins over the years, for example on the 1 markka coins between 1964 and 2001.

Vatican City State

There are three series of Vatican City State coins in circulation. The first series was issued in years 2002–2005 and the portrait of His Holiness Pope John Paul II was depicted on it. The second series coins, having been issued as from 2005, show the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain, the interim Head of the Vatican City State. The symbol of the Pope's curia is in the centre of the coin above the coat of arms. The upper part of the design is surrounded by the semicircular words SEDE VACANTE and the year of issue in Roman numerals MMV. The mint mark R is located between the coat of arms and the year of issue. The designer’s name D. LONGO  appears on the lower left-hand edge of the central design. The engraver's initials MAC inc (1 and 20-cent coins), LDS inc (2 and 50-cent coins), ELF inc (5-cent coin and €1), MMC inc (10-cent coin and €2) appear on the lower right-hand edge of the central design. Twelve stars form a semicircle on the upper part of the perimeter, the words CITTÀ DEL VATICANO are situated in a semicircle on the lower part of the perimeter. The third series coins issued in April in 2006 depict His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI and the text CITTÀ DEL VATICANO. The year 2006 and the mint mark R are situated right to the design and the engraver's initials DL are to the left.


Benedictus XVI

Sede Vacante

Johannes Paulus II