France has released the first of their commemorative €2 circulating coins for 2017. The coin is dedicated to the renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin on the 100th anniversary of his passing.
Each year the member nations of the European Union who have adopted the Euro as their circulating currency are allowed to mint two special circulating commemorative €2 coins. These coins are meant to depict symbols or themes of national importance to that county on the national side of the coin.
In 2017 France has chosen to commemorate Auguste Rodin on the 100th anniversary of his death in 1917. Rodin is not only one of France' best known sculptors but his works are counted amongst some of the most recognisable pieces of art around the world. His bronze sculpture “The Thinker” and the marble “The Kiss” are easily at the top of this list.
The national side of the coin depicts a sculpted portrait of Rodin to the right, with a cropped rendition of his Thinker statue to the left. Along Rodin's beard are inscribed the words : “A. Rodin” and “1917 – 2017”. The letters “RF” appear to the top, they stand for République Française or French Republic, along with the mintmark of the Paris Mint. The outer ring of this bi-metallic coin has the usual twelve five-pointed stars encircling the national design.
The reverse features the standard two Euro coin design that is found on all €2 coins across the European Union.
In addition to the regular circulation quality coins, Monnaie de Paris(Paris Mint) is also releasing brilliant uncirculated and proof quality coins for collectors. The proof coins will be sold individually for €20.00 each while the brilliant uncirculated coins are available at a price of €10.00 per coin. Both the proof and brilliant uncirculated variations have a mintage of 10 000 coins each.
Now in addition to the circulating two Euro coin, the French Mint have also decided to pay homage to the artist on two legal tender silver coins. The designs are altered slightly for these two coins owing to the larger size of the coins themselves.
First off there is a €10 silver coin measuring 31mm(1.22 inch) with a total weight of 17gram(0.599 oz). It should be noted that this coin only has a silver purity of .333 Fineness silver, or simply put 33.3% silver content. A maximum mintage of 150 000 coins has been announced for the coin.
The obverse of these two silver coins is same as that featured on the Marianne coins. The words “RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE” and “EURO” are arranged to form the Euro currency symbol(€) with the denomination inscribed to the right inside them. The numbers are also flanked by an olive and oak branch. This is all enclosed inside three interlocked hexagons, representing the national borders of the French landmass.
The last coin is a legal tender silver coin, with the same design as the first nut this time with a denomination of €100. This coin tips the scales at 50 gram(1.763 oz) and measures 47mm(1.85 inch) in diameter. The one hundred Euro silver coin is struck from a far more respectable .900 Fineness silver and carries a mintage figure of 10 000 coins.
The Mint is choosing to sell both of these coins at face value, €10 and €100 each, and is minting them to an uncirculated quality.
In my opinion the silver coins are a novel idea and the €10 coin especially is bound to sell with the more pricey €100 coin appealing more to serious collectors. The circulating €2 coin meanwhile is a welcome addition to the annual issues.