The Monnaie de Paris has announced (12th January) new gold and silver collector coins celebrating the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Championships to be hosted this year in France.
Held every four years since 1960 in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, the event was originally called the UEFA European Nations Cup, but changed to the current name in 1968. The last championship, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine in 2012, was won by Spain, who beat Italy at the final game hosted in Kiev. This year, France has the pleasure of playing host at ten venues in ten cities across the country.
Although the UEFA European Championship has now grown into one of the world’s biggest sporting events, the idea for a pan-European football tournament was first proposed by the French Football Federation’s secretary-general Henri Delaunay (1883 – 1955) in 1927. However, it was not until 1958 that the tournament was started, and Delaunay did not live to see his idea come to fruition. In honor of Delaunay, the trophy awarded to the champions is named after him and was actually created by his son Pierre as tribute to his father.
For the first time this year, the European Championship final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996. A total of 53 teams competed for 23 places in the final tournament to join France, who as hosts have automatically qualified.
The coins, one gold and one silver, share the same design except for the denominations inscribed on their reverses. The obverse depicts the legs of a football player about to kick the ball. On the right is the competition’s official logo. The lower part of the coin bears the year and date surrounded by the mint marks in a field just under the line of grass.
The reverse bears the face value of 10€ or 100€, surrounded by branches of oak and laurel evoking the euro sign. The whole motif is framed by traits representing a Hexagon.
|€10||.333 silver||17 grams||31 mm.||Uncirculated||250,000 pieces|
|€100||.999 Gold||1.8 grams||16 mm.||Uncirculated||50,000 pieces|
The first tournament takes place on June 10 between hosts France and Romania at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis in Paris. The championships conclude on July 10 at the same venue. The new UEFA coins are available from February 8 and will be sold at face value at participating banks and post offices throughout France. The silver versions are also available in rolls of 25 pieces.
For more information on these and other coins offered by the Monnaie de Paris, please visit their Web site. International sales will be dispatched where applicable.