The European Commission have unveiled (30th June) the winning design for the Euro-zone wide 2 €URO commemorative coin to mark the 10th anniversary of the continent’s new banknotes and coins, officially issued on the 1st January 2002.
An EU-wide competition was launched earlier this year which was open to all citizens of the European Union (27 nations) and a public voting ballot was initiated to determine the winning design. With almost 35,000 people having voted, the choice of the public was for the artist Helmut Andexlinger, who is a designer from the Austrian Mint. Mr. Andexlinger received 34% of the public vote and initially beat 800 competitors to create the special 2-Euro coin.
Online voters were given a choice of five preliminary designs which had been pre-selected by a professional jury following a design competition among citizens from the entire euro area. All euro-area countries will have the opportunity to issue the single commemorative 2-euro circulation coin with the winning design appearing on the national side to celebrate 10 years of euro banknotes and coins.
Several elements of the design have specific meaning to the Euro’s last ten years as the continent’s pre-eminent currency. The design symbolizes the way in which the euro has become a true global player in the last ten years and its importance in ordinary people’s lives (represented by the people in the design), trade (the ship), industry (the factory) and energy (wind power stations).
This coin will be the third Euro-wide commemorative issued by all Euro zone member states. The first was the commemorative two euro coin issued to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rome Treaty in 2007 and the second coin marked ten years of the Economic and Monetary Union and the creation of the Euro as a virtual currency in 2009.
Currently, there are 27 countries within the Euro-zone. It is estimated that some 90 million of these coins will be put into circulation from the beginning of 2012. For more information, please see the website of the European Commission’s Economic and Financial Affair’s website at: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/articles/euro/2011-06-30-coin_comp_winner_en.htm