10 January 2023
There's plenty to look forward to in 2023 writes European coin expert Sebastian Wieschowski as he anticipates the range of special €2 coins set to be issued in the months ahead.
In Europe, two numismatic topics will set the agenda in 2023: €2 commemorative coins and bullion coins.
The introduction of the Euro in 2002 led to a renaissance of numismatics across Europe that hardly anyone expected.
Millions of people all over the continent rummaged through their change for the special national designs. And since 2004, eurozone countries have been allowed to use the €2 circulation coins, valid throughout Europe, to refer to national events, personalities or buildings. The €2 commemorative coins have created an exciting, field of collecting.
Germany issues ‘Federal States’ coins
This year’s World Money Fair saw the presentation of the first issue of the new ‘Federal States’ series from Germany.
After the Federal Republic paid tribute to one federal state each year between 2006 and 2019, the series is now being reissued with new designs and landmarks. The magnificent motifs combined with a slice of local patriotism in the various regions of the Federal Republic were an ideal recipe for a numismatic success that radiates far beyond the country’s borders.
Because of the remarkable success, the German Federal Government had no choice but to reissue the series in 2023.
The €2 commemorative coin Hamburg with the River Elbe Opera House (‘Elbphilharmonie’) will kick off the series ‘Bundesländer II’. A better start for the second series is hardly imaginable because the new cultural icon in the Hanseatic harbour is known worldwide. The motif will appeal to coin collectors, millions of tourists, and culture lovers.
Adding local appeal
The Bundesländer series from Germany proves that local pride on circulating commemorative coins is a recipe for success; we have known this not only since 2006 when Bundesländer series coins first entered circulation in the Federal Republic.
Other countries had already had good experiences with similar series. The United States Mint is considered a pioneer with the legendary ‘50 State Quarters’.
In 2004, on the occasion of the 180th anniversary of the federation, Mexico issued various bimetallic coins in honour of the individual states.
And in the meantime, several euro countries have followed Germany’s example: Lithuania publishes the €2 series ‘Ethnographic Regions’ and Latvia also pays tribute to its regions on commemorative circulation coins.
Owning a piece of history
Of course, European collectors are just concerned about themselves but are also interested in new developments in the English-speaking world. And here, the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II was a dramatic event for millions of Europeans.
The Queen can be found in every coin collection in Germany, France, or Italy and has been a familiar sight during vacations, student exchanges, and other opportunities to travel around the world.
European collectors eagerly await new numismatic surprises following the protracted transition to her successor on coinage: The Britannia bullion coins in silver and all other coins with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the year 2023 were among the bestsellers in Europe.
This is because collectors and investors could own a piece of world history and at the same time hedge against record inflation, which is between 10 and 20 percent in continental Europe.
With major coin fairs back, new coin series planned, and historic moments being marked on coins, this is an exciting time for coin collectors. Let’s celebrate it!