Benedict Vatican euros set for release
The first Vatican euro coins bearing a bust of Benedict XVI will be released next week, according to information from the Vatican's numismatic bureau.
Catholic World News reports that the Bureay will release a full set of coins, denominated in euros, bearing a bust of the Pope on one side, with the inscription "Citta del Vaticano" and 12 stars representing the European Union.
The other side of the coin will be the same as the obverse of coins minted by other member-states of the European Union.
As a party to the EU agreement on currency, the Vatican has the right to mint its own distinctive coins; this will be the sixth set of euros printed since the agreement came into force in December 2000.
The Vatican coins, which are highly sought by collectors, will be offered for sale in two different sets, with one special set including a commemorative medal of St Matthew the evangelist. These sets, bearing a cover price of $50 (€30) and $232 (€140), will soon command 10 times that list price on the collectors' market.
The euros minted by the Vatican are legal tender in all of the countries adhering to the EU monetary accord. However they are rarely encountered in circulation, because collectors buy up virtually all the available coins. The Vatican, like the little republic of San Marino, produces coins primarily for collectors.
The new coins will be the first "regular" euros provided by the Vatican for Benedict XVI's pontificate. In December the numismatic office released the first coins featuring Benedict XVI, but these were commemorative coins rather than euros.
The last series of euros carrying an image of Pope John Paul II went on sale April last year.
First Vatican euros of Benedict's pontificate due next week (Catholic World News 20/4/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
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21 Apr 2006