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50 Cent Euro Coin

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50 Cent Euro Coin

50 cent
European Union[1]
Value 0.50 euro
Mass 7.80 g
Diameter 24.25 mm
Thickness 2.38 mm
Edge regular, fine indentations
Composition Nordic gold
Years of minting 1999–present
Design 24 variations, see below.
Designer Various
Design date Various
Design Map of Europe with the denomination shown in Latin characters
Designer Luc Luycx
Design date 2007

The 50 cent euro coin (€0.50) has a value of half a euro and are composed of an alloy called nordic gold. All coins have a common reverse side and country-specific national sides. The coin has been used since 2002, with the present common side design dating from 2007.


The coin dates from 2001, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12 member eurozone and its related territories. The common side was designed by Luc Luycx, a Belgian artist who won a Europe-wide competition to design the new coins. The design of the 10 to 50 cent coins were intended to show separate states of the European Union (EU), as opposed to the one and two euro coins showing the 15 states as one and the 1 to 5 cent coins showing the EU's place in the world.

The national sides, then 15 (eurozone + Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican who could mint their own) were each designed according to national competitions, though to specifications which applied to all coins such as the requirement of including twelve stars (see euro coins for more). National designs were not allowed to change until the end of 2008, unless a monarch (whose portrait usually appears on the coins) dies or abdicates. This happened in Monaco and the Vatican City resulting in three new designs in circulation (the Vatican had an interim design until the new Pope was selected). National designs have seen some changes due to new rules stating that national designs should include the name of the issuing country (Finland and Belgium both do not show their name, and hence have made minor changes).

As the EU's membership has since expanded in 2004 and 2007, with further expansions envisaged, the common face of all euro coins from the value of 10 cent and above were redesigned in 2007 to show a new map. This map showed Europe, not just the EU, as one continuous landmass, however Cyprus was moved west as the map cut off after the Bosporus (which was seen as excluding Turkey for political reasons). The redesign in 2007, rather than in 2004, was due to the fact that 2007 saw the first enlargement of the eurozone; the entry of Slovenia. Hence, the Slovenian design was added to the designs in circulation. Two more designs were added in 2008 with the entry of Cyprus and Malta and another one in 2009 with Slovakia. Two more were added in 2011 and 2014, for Estonia and Latvia, respectively, and Lithuania in 2015.


Edge of all 50 cent coins

The coins are composed of an alloy called nordic gold, with a diameter of 24.25 mm, a 2.38 mm thickness and a mass of 7.80 grams. The coins' edges have regular indentations. The coins have been used from 2002, though some are dated 1999 which is the year the euro was created as a currency, but not put into general circulation.

Reverse (common) side

The reverse (used from 2007 onwards) was designed by Luc Luycx and displays a map of Europe on the left. The map does not include Iceland and cuts off on the right through Russia (exactly, at a line from the Kandalaksha Gulf to the Bosphorus (Cyprus is moved westward under Crete in order to include it and Malta is shown as disproportionally large so that it shows up). The map is flat and level with most of the coin and the sea is shown as an indentation. Six fine lines cut through the sea, breaking when passing through the map, and at their ends at the top and bottom are twelve stars (reflective of the flag of Europe). To the right, in raised lettering, is "50 Euro Cent" with the '50' being shown much larger than the words. The designers initials, LL, appear next to the 0 in 50.

Luc Luycx designed the original coin, which was much the same except the design was only of the then 15 members and shown with gaps between the states and raised rather than with an indented sea.

Obverse (national) sides

The obverse side of the coin depends on the issuing country. All have to include twelve stars (in most cases a circle around the edge), the engravers initials and the year of issue. New designs also have to include the name or initials of the issuing country. The side cannot repeat the denomination of the coin unless the issuing country uses an alphabet other than Latin (currently, Greece is the only such country, hence it engraves "50 ΛΕΠΤΑ" upon its coins). Despite using the Latin alphabet, Austria repeats the denomination on its coins.

Description Image
The Austrian design features the Secession Building within a circle, symbolising the birth of art nouveau and a new age in the country. The denomination, followed by a hatched Austrian flag and the date, appears above but within the circle.
The Belgian design was chosen by a panel of leading Belgian officials, artisans and experts in numismatics. They chose an effigy of King Albert II designed by Jan Alfons Keustermans, Director of the Municipal Academy of Fine Arts of Turnhout. To the right hand side among the stars was the kings monogram, a letter "A", underneath a crown. The year was lower down, also among the stars. The 2008 redesign included the letters BE (standing for Belgium) beneath the monogram, which was moved out of the stars into the centre circle but still to the right of the King's portrait. The date was also moved out and placed beneath the effigy and included two symbols either side (left: signature mark of the master of the mint, right: mint mark).

1st Series (2002–2007)

2nd Series (2008–2013)

3rd series (2013-)
The Cypriot design features a Kyrenia ship, a 4th century trading vessel symbolising the seafaring and trading history of Cyprus. It includes, in a semicircle to the top right, the name of Cyprus in Greek and Turkish (ΚΥΠΡΟΣ and KIBRIS) each side of the date. It has been used since Cyprus adopted the euro in 2008. It was chosen in a public vote and the exact design was created by Erik Maell and Tatiana Soteropoulos.
The Estonian design is a design by Lembit Lõhmus and features a geographical image of Estonia and the word “Eesti”, which means “Estonia”. The twelve stars, symbols of the EU, are surrounding the map. This was the winning design in a public vote of ten announced in December 2004. The design started to circulate in 2011.
The Finnish design depicts the heraldic lion of Finland found on the Coat of arms of Finland. It is a reproduction of a design by the sculptor Heikki Häiväoja and has been used by previous Finnish coins such as the 1 markka between 1964 and 2001. The first series included the initial of the mint master of the Mint of Finland, Raimo Makkonen (an M), on the bottom left side of the lion and the date to the left. When the coins were redesign to meet the new design requirements, the initial was replaced by the mint's mint mark and moved to the left, with the letters FI (for Finland) sitting in the bottom right.

1st Series (2002–2006)

2nd Series (2007–)
The French design by Laurent Jorio depicts a sower in a field with a rising sun behind her. The image is taken from the previous one French franc coin designed by Louis Oscar Roty. Oscar Roty's art nouveau design reset the global trend, breaking from traditional static portraits to a full body, strident figure sowing the seeds of good fortune. For the euro coins, Jorio added hatching each side representing the French flag with the year to the left and the letters RF (République française) to the right.
The German design depicts the Brandenburg Gate as a symbol of the reunification of Germany and Europe. The year and mint mark is shown at the bottom and the image was designed by Reinhard Heinsdorff.
The Greek design is a portrait of Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), a major Greek politician and who pioneered social reform, modernisation of Greece and the liberation of northern Greece and the Aegean. His name in Greek is shown to the bottom right of the portrait and to the left is the denomination in Greek with the year. It was designed by Georgios Stamatopoulos.
The Irish design shows an Irish harp (the Cláirseach, see Clàrsach) used as a national symbol (for example, on the Seal of the President of Ireland). Vertically on the left hand side is the word "Éire" (Ireland in the Irish language) and on the right hand side is the date. The harp motif was designed by Jarlath Hayes.
The Italian design is a depiction of the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, one of the "Five Good Emperors", in Rome. The coin was chosen through a televised contest involving a public phone in vote. The interpretation for the coin was engraved by Roberto Mauri and it includes the interconnected letters IR (Repubblica Italiana), the year is shown to the top right and the mint mark are shown to the bottom right of the statue.
The Lithuanian design is a design by Antanas Žukauskas and features Vytis (symbol of the coat-of-arms) and the word “Lietuva”, which means “Lithuania”. The twelve stars, symbols of the EU, surrounds the Vytis. This was the winning design in a public vote announced in 2004. The design started to circulate in 2015.
The Luxembourgian design contains a stylised effigy of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg designed by Yvette Gastauer-Claire in consultation with the government and monarchy of Luxembourg. The name Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg in Luxembourgish) and the year is written round the outer left side of the coin.
The Maltese design depicts the Coat of arms of Malta, which includes the Maltese flag and a mural crown of fortifications symbolising a city state. Shield of the arms is bound by an olive branch and a palm branch as Maltese symbols of peace, tied at their base by a ribbon reading “Repubblika ta’ Malta” (Republic of Malta). The name Malta sits round the upper left inner edge and the year in a similar fashion on the right. The arms were the second most popular in a public vote and was designed by Noel Galea Bason. It has been used since Malta switched to the euro in 2008.
The first Monegasque design contained the seal of Monaco with the name MONACO was written across the top of the coin's outer circle and the year across the bottom of the outer circle with the mint marks. Upon the death of Prince Rainier III in 2005, and the accession of Prince Albert II the seal was replaced with the monogram of Prince Albert II and the name Monaco and the year were brought within the inner circle.

1st Series (2002–2005)

2nd Series (2006-)
The Dutch design displays a stylised profile of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands surrounded by the twelve stars and other dots, with the inscription “Beatrix Queen of The Netherlands” in Dutch around the edge. The date and mint marks are located at the bottom.
The Portuguese design shows the royal seal of 1142 surrounded by the country's castles and five escutcheona with silver bezants set in relation to the surrounding European stars which is supposed to symbolise dialogue, exchange of values and dynamics in the building of Europe. Between the castles are the numbers of the year towards the bottom and the letters of the name Portugal between the upper icons. The stars are inset on a ridge.
 San Marino:
The Sammarinese design features The Three Towers of San Marino: La Guaita, La Cesta, Il Montale. In a semicircle over the towers is the date, the words San Marino and the mint marks.
The Slovak design depicts Bratislava Castle, with the national emblem in the bottom left of the picture. Below the image is the date and curving just above the circling stars is the name SLOVENSKO (Slovakia). The coin came into use in 2009 when Slovakia adopted the euro and it was designed by Ján Černaj and Pavol Károly, chosen by a public competition and vote in 2005.
The Slovenian design depicts Triglav mountain below the constellation of Cancer (Slovenia achieved independence under the zodiac sign of Cancer). In a semicircle above that are two lines of text, the outer one reading SLOVENIJA (Slovenia) between the twelve stars and the inner one reading "Oj Triglav moj dom" (O Triglav, My Home) from the patriotic song by Jakob Aljaž, a Slovene priest, composer and mountaineer. The design came into use in 2007 when Slovenia adopted the euro and it was designed by Miljenko Licul, Maja Licul and Janez Boljka.
The Spanish design has an effigy of Miguel de Cervantes, the father of Spanish literature. His name and a quill is shown to the left, the name España (Spain) above it and the mint mark below. The date is shown at the bottom of the coin. The top right four stars are indented on a raised area, inverting the effect of the rest of the coin.

1st Series (1999–2009)

2nd Series (2010-)
  Vatican City:
The Vatican design has changed two times. The first displayed an effigy of Pope John Paul II. The name CITTA DEL VATICANO (Vatican City) was written to his left, the date and mint mark below and the stars grouped together on his right. Following the death of John Paul II in 2005, a new coin was issued during the Sede vacante until a new Pope was chosen. This contained the insignia of the Apostolic Chamber and the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain. When Pope Benedict XVI was elected, his effigy appeared on the coins, with the name of the city now above his head with the year and mint mark in the middle to his right. After the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis, a new effigy of Francis appeared on the new series of Vatican euro coins, with the 50 euro cent displaying the portrait of Francis in a center profile.

1st Series (2002–2005)

2nd Series (2005–2006)

3rd Series (2006–2013)

4th Series (2013-)

Planned designs

Austria, Germany and Greece will also at some point need to update their designs to comply with guidelines stating they must include the issuing state's name or initial, and not repeat the denomination of the coin.

In addition, there are several EU states that have not yet adopted the euro, some of them have already agreed upon their coin designs however it is not know exactly when they will adopt the currency, and hence these are not yet minted. See enlargement of the Eurozone for expected entry dates of these countries.


  1. ^ Institutions and the members of the Eurozone

External links

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