The Bank of Greece has issued (16th July) their second €2 annual commemorative coins that remember the centenary anniversary of the union of the region of Thrace with the Greek State, which occurred in 1920. As a result of the conclusion of the Great War, later known as World War I, negotiations to make permanent the cease-fire in November 1918 and a long-lasting peace between the belligerents were discussed. One of these treaties, remembered as the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, was signed on the 28th November 1919 in the French city of the same name.
Negotiated between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Entente powers of Great Britain, France, the United States, and Greece, it compelled Bulgaria to cede both territory and reparations to her neighbours as a consequence of their fighting on the side of the defeated Central powers. According to the terms, Bulgaria would cede to the corridor of territory known as Western Thrace to the Entente. As a result of the San Remo Conference in April 1920, the Entente awarded Western Thrace to the Greek State. The purpose of ceding this particular land to Greece was an attempt to cut off Bulgaria to direct access to the Aegean Sea. As a result of the final internationally recognised borders between the two countries, and as part of the treaty, a process of population exchange occurred between the two countries. Ethnic Bulgarians in Thrace were repatriated over the border, and ethnic Greeks in Bulgaria in the region were relocated to Greece. The treaty also compelled Bulgaria to reduce its army to 20,000 men and to pay reparations of £100 million to the Entente. That same year, the Greek army triumphantly entered Thrace, which has since been an integral part of the Greek State.
The coins are produced at the Hellenic (or Greek) Mint on behalf of the Bank of Greece and are designed by George Stamatopoulos. The obverse design includes, in the centre, the depiction of an ancient drachma coin with a winged gryphon facing left. The gryphon was depicted on Thracian coins in ancient times, especially in the city-state of Abdera located on the coast. The design is surrounded by the inscription in Greek 100 ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΗΝ ΕΝΣΩΜΑΤΩΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΘΡΑΚΗΣ (“100th Anniversary of the Union of Thrace”), placed above the primary design. Placed below is the text ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ 2020 and the mintmark of the Greek Mint. Surrounding the overall design are the 12 stars representing the European Union.
The reverse side is that of the standard Euro-zone design for the two-euro coins, with the numeral 2 superimposed over a map depicting Europe, and was created by artist Luc Luycx.
|Two euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Uncirculated||743,000|
|Two euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Brilliant Unc.||5,000|
|Two euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm||Proof||2,000|
Available from the 16th July, each Proof quality coin is presented in a custom Bank of Greece-branded case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The Brilliant Uncirculated edition is housed in a blister-pak folder with graphics and text describing the event highlighted. Collectors residing in Greece can visit the Bank of Greece’s headquarters in Athens. Those outside Greece are asked to e-mail .