The basis for the commemorative coins derived from a decision of the European Council, which repealed the prohibition of changing the national obverse sides of euro coins from 1 January 2004 onwards.
The face value of the coins, typically is less than their intrinsic value of between €3 and €12. The exceptions are San Marino and the Vatican City, where coins from the former are regularly sold for between €30 and €40, while coins from the latter are very rarely obtained for less than €100. Issued designs are made public in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also known as the Winged Liberty dime, it gained its common name as the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.
By 1916, the dime, quarter, and half dollar designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber had been struck for 25years, and could be replaced by the Treasury, of which the Mint is a part, without Congressional authorization. Mint officials were under the misapprehension that the designs had to be changed, and held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been in his position for 36years, also took part. Weinman's designs for the dime and half dollar were selected.
Although the new coin's design was admired for its beauty, the Mint made modifications to it upon learning that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulties making the new dime work in their devices. The coin continued to be minted until 1945, when the Treasury ordered that a new design, featuring recently deceased president Franklin Roosevelt, take its place.
Error – Usually a mis-made coin not intended for circulation, but can also refer to an engraving or die-cutting error not discovered until the coins are released to circulation. This may result is two or more varieties of the coin in the same year.
Exonumia – The study of coin-like objects such as token coins and medals, and other items used in place of legal currency or for commemoration.
Fineness – Purity of precious metal content expressed in terms of one thousand parts. 90% is expressed as .900 fine.
January 1, 2008
Venezuela launched a new currency with the new year, lopping off three zeros from denominations in a bid to simplify finances and boost confidence in a money that has been losing value due to high inflation. The new currency is called bolívar fuerte or "strong bolívar". Officials also say it is part of a broader effort to contain rising prices and strengthen the economy. More...
January 1, 2008
Today at midnight, the Cyprus and the Malta adopted the euro as their official currency; less than four years after their accession to the European Union. The single currency has replaced the Cypriot pound and the Maltese lira at a rate of one euro to 0.585274 Cypriot pound and 0.4293 to the Maltese lira. In both countries the euro was welcomed with outdoor celebrations, including a fireworks display in Malta's capital Valletta. More...