The Italian Mint(Istituto Polografica e Zecca dello Stato or IPZS for short) has now released the first commemorative circulating €2 for Italy of 2017. The coin commemorates the 400th anniversary of the completion of St Mark's Basilica, in Venice.
St Mark's Basilica, or the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, is the main Roman Catholic cathedral of Venice. It became the city's cathedral in 1807, when it became the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.
The origins of the Basilica lay in the early 9th century when the Doge of Venice ordered the construction of a private chapel adjacent to his palace. That original building was destroyed in the year 976, and subsequently rebuilt and torn down several times.
Construction on the Basilica in it's present form is thought to have begun around the year 1063. Over the next five centuries the church would receive several expansions and alterations. Work on the facade of the building would steadily continue until it reached the form we know today.
The obverse of this coin depicts a view of St Mark's Basilica from St Mark's square(Piazza San Marco) on the inner nickel-brass disc of the coin. The legend reads : “VENIZIA” to the top and “SAN MARCO” to the bottom. The monogram representing the Italian Republic, a stylised “RI”, is seen just below the basilica's main door. Flanking that are the dates “1617” and “2017”. The mintmark of the Rome Mint is inscribed to the upper right of the basilica's central dome. The outer cupro-nickel ring displays twelve five-pointed stars representing the European Union.
The reverse of the coin bears the standard €2 design found on all European €2 coins.
Each year member states of the European Union are allowed to issue two special circulating commemorative €2 coins. The design of these coins are intended to celebrate the national identity of the issuing country.
The coin measures 27.5mm(10826 inch) and is considered legal tender in all EU member states. The coin is available in both uncirculated and proof finishes. The proof coin has a limited mintage of 8000 coins, and the Italian Mint is releasing those at €22.00(US$23.32) each.
The coin will enter general circulation in 2017 with an expected mintage figure of around one and a half million coins.
The second circulating commemorative €2 coin expected from the Italian Mint in 2017 is set to commemorate the bimillenary of the death of Titus Livius.
Personally speaking – I really like this coin. A fantastic design of an interesting subject. Sometimes you get the impression that these commemorative €2 coins are rushed out just because they have to be. But this coin defies that notion with a beautiful design that looks like it might belong on a much more expensive gold or silver coin instead.