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BELGIUM (from 2002) - Belgian euro coins [EUR]

1 euro = 100 euro cent

The preparations for the monetary union started in 1991 in Maastricht. In December 1995 in Madrid the name of the new currency was chosen. On January 1st, 1999 Euro [EUR] became an official (although virtual) currency in 11 countries of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain). In 2001 Greece also joined the system. The first coins were minted already in 1999, but real money entered circulation only on January 1, 2002. The Eurozone was extended six times: in 2007 (Slovenia), 2008 (Cyprus and Malta), 2009 (Slovakia), 2011 (Estonia), 2014 (Latvia) and 2015 (Lithuania). Thus 19 countries belong to the eurozone today. Euro coins are also being issued by four small countries, which do not belong to the EU, but signed a special agreement with the EU: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican. Euro is the official currency also in Montenegro, Kosovo, and French overseas regions. About 340 millions of people use Euro everyday.

The common side, identical for all of the Euro issuers was chosen in a graphic competition won by Luc Luycx. On June 7, 2005 it was decided to change the design of the common side of euro coins. Coins with face values 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as 1 and 2 euros issued after January 1, 2007 show a full map of Europe without political borders. Coins issued by Italy (including San Marino and Vatican), Austria and Portugal implemented the change only for coins issued in 2008. By the decision of the European Central Bank any euro coin issued after January 1, 2009 must bear the new reverse. Eurozone members may choose any motif for their national side as long as it contains a ring of twelve stars at the edge and the name or symbol of the issuing country.

Belgians exchanged their national currency franc [BEF] into Euro [EUR] in ratio 40.3399 BEF for 1 EUR. Franc was circulating until February 28th, 2002. Coins BEF were exchangeable into EUR until the end of 2004. Banknotes BEF are exchangeable into EUR without time limits in the central bank.

The national side of Belgian Euro coins was already changed already twice. For the coins with year of issue 2008 the head of King Albert II was modified and code of Belgium BE was added together with a mintmark of the Royal Mint of Belgium and a privy mark of mintmaster, both flanking year of issue. For the coins produced in 2009 the royal head was slightly enlarged.

The author of Belgian national side design is Jan Alfons Keustermans - the director of the Municipal Academy of Fine Arts of Turnhout.

last update: 1 I 2015

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