Well it's a new year and that inevitably means that a new series of commemorative two Euro coins will be forthcoming from the member states of the European Union.
Ever since 2002 the countries that make up the European Union have had a unified currency with coins that could be used anywhere in the union. This demanded uniformity for the designs of the coins that were issued. However, in order for the countries to maintain a sense of nation pride, a small conceit was made. Each member state would be allowed to design, mint and issue two different €2 coins designs per year, these coins would be legal tender across the entire European Union. This national side would be used to commemorate and honour themes of national pride and importance to the producing country.
The common reverse side always remains the same, and has bore the now distinctive Luc Luycx design ever since 2007. The design is a profile of the map of Europe to the right with six five pointed stars above and below it along the outer rim. The denomination of “2 EURO” is written across the centre of the coin.
And so the honour of producing the first commemorative two Euro coin for 2017 falls to the Slovak Republic, and is this time dedicated to the 550th anniversary of the opening of Universitas Istropolitana. The Universitas Istropolitana, sometimes referred to as the Academia Istropolitana, was the first university to be founded in the modern day territory of Slovakia. The university was established in 1467 due to the efforts of King Matthias Corvinus, and was the only university in the Kingdom of Hungary at that time(although historic records indicate that there were two other universities that existed prior to the Universitas Istropolitana in the Kingdom).
Sadly after the death of King Matthias Corvinus in 1490 the university ceased to exist as it was unable to remain open without his patronage. The building that housed the institution however, is still standing today. And in fact it currently houses the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava.
The obverse or national side of the coin depicts the facade of the university building in the background. The foreground consists of a teacher instructing two pupils sitting at his feet. Towards the upper left is an engraved medallion that display an effigy of King Matthias Corvinus. The legend reads : “UNIVERSITAS ISTROPOLITANA” along the inner rim with each word appearing on opposite sides of the coin. The date “1467” is inscribed just above the King's medallion and “SLOVENSKO” and “2017” appear to the bottom in two horizontal lines. Twelve five pointed stars encircle the design on the outer ring.
As usual the coin is a bi-metallic piece with the outer ring composed of copper-nickel, while the inner disc is composed of nickel-brass. The coin measures 25.75mm(1.014 inch) with a weight of 8.5 grams(0.3 oz). The coin is produced by the Kremnica Mint and will have a mintage of one million pieces struck for general circulation. Of that figure 1500 coins will receive a proof finish to be distributed by the National Bank of Slovakia.
The proof coins are expected to be available from about €15.00(US$16.00) each by the end of January from most international coin dealers that stock commemorative two Euro coins. The second commemorative two Euro coin expected for release will come to us from Luxembourg and is scheduled for release around the first week of February 2017.