Sunday

25th Aug 2019

Vatican puts its euro coins into circulation

  • Vatican euro coins are now being circulated in restricted amounts (Photo: EUobserver)

After years of serving as items for collectors, the euro coins issued by the Holy See will now be used on the streets of the Vatican City. The first is a 50-cent coin bearing the image of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Vatican adopted the currency of the eurozone in 2002, but its coins could rarely be found in the free circulation. The initial series of the coins with a value amount of €310,400, which featured Pope John Paul II, were issued only in collector sets.

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The French religious news agency I.Media reported Thursday coins were being given out two at a time as change at the Vatican grocery store, post office and gas station. Restricting the circulation to only one type of coin will help keep up the price of the collectors' editions, I.Media wrote.

Under the monetary agreement between the EU and the Vatican reached in December 2009, the Holy See had to increase the number of its own coins in the circulation. The Vatican City must circulate at least 51 percent of its currency at face value and it was allowed to more than double the amount of euro coins it can issue to €2.3 million annually.

According to the previous agreement between the Vatican City State and Italy from December 2000, the Vatican could issue coins with a maximum annual face value of a total of €670,000, and additional coins to the tune of €201,000 if the Holy See were vacant.

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