We got the nice Euro as a currency a few years back. And it has served us well. At least from the point of view of the end-user who enjoys being able to cross borders without the hassle and worries that come with having to get some of the local money. To keep things interesting and give people something similar their own local currency, it was decided that each country can design their own back sides for the coins. That’s quite nice, particularly when you occasionally get foreign coins with your change.
What I wasn’t aware of, though, was that there are also special coins. Apparently every Euro country may introduce one commemorative two Euro coin per year which features yet another back side. Thus we’ll have about a gazillion different coins in the very near future. And I happened to get one of the current German coins recently. It’s the first of a series of sixteen – where one will be published for each state and it features the Holstentor in Lübeck.
Eeek, it’s just very hard to take a good photo of a coin, particularly when you don’t use a SLR camera and have to make do with your desk lamp and the built-in flash. The wrong light, the wrong lens and everything being a bit tricky to handle… and once you’ve got a photo that actually is in focus you’ll see that the very shiny new coin you got actually looks quite scratched.
Here in the USA, we’re running commemorative “quarters” (quarter-dollar coins) for each of the 50 States. It’s actually kind of cool, because they are releasing the coins in the order that the States joined the Union. The program started in 1999 and will be finished in 2008 (my State’s quarter won’t be released until next year).
I wonder how many dollars worth of quarters will never enter back into circulation because of collectors? Kind of clever of the government to print money where a percentage won’t be spent!
I’m pretty sure that we see many Euro coins vanish for exactly the same reasons. In fact, I kept some of the foreign ones in the early days and they still sit in some drawer. And some of them are really pretty!
(Of course that’s nowhere as bad as the large nutella glass full of 20 cent or less coins I use to collect the useless change… I really should pay those into my account but the damn thing is so heavy by now.)
Just think of all those jars of Nutella sold to coin collectors that will never be melted and recycled…