Vatican City puts Euros into circulation

Source: FSSPX News

For the first time since the transition to the Euro in January 2002, the Vatican City State has put into circulation currency that until recently was reserved for collectors, the news agency I.Media reported. In fact, on December 17, 2009, a monetary convention was signed in Brussels between the Vatican City State and the European Union: “at least 51%” of the Vatican coinage must be put into circulation at its face value, and at the same time, the state is authorized to mint as much as 2.3 million euro in currency for the year 2010.

The smallest state in the world, which has minted coins since its formation in 1929, indirectly entered the Euro zone at the same time as 12 other European states on January 1, 2002, in accordance with the agreements signed with Italy, which is itself a signatory of agreements with the European Union. On March 1, 2002, the first coins, bearing the image of John Paul II, were released, sparking a rush among collectors. Initially the Vatican had been authorized to mint as much as 670,000 euro in currency per year, and since 2008, up to 1.074 million euro.

The Vatican thus has minted 2 million 50-cent pieces, for a total value of one million Euro. Since mid-July, several shops within the precincts of the Vatican have been in possession of coins with the image of Benedict XVI and bearing the inscription Città del Vaticano 2010 and have made change by giving as many as two 50-cent pieces per client.

By minting coins of only one face value, the State avoids a loss of interest in complete series among collectors worldwide—a significant move, since the sale of Vatican coins by the Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Vatican is a godsend for the small state. To cite one statistic, the last series of Vatican Euro, having a face value of 3.88 euro, sold for 30 euro. Circulated since May 11, 2010, among collectors, 94 thousand sets were minted. Furthermore, since 2004, the Vatican has issued each year a commemorative two-euro piece, which is especially prized. On the other hand, the state does not issue any bills. (Sources : apic/imedia - DICI no. 220 dated August 7, 2010)