Banknotes and coins

Commemorative and collectors' coins

Since January 2004, "collectors' euro coins" has been used to refer to coins that are not intended for circulation, usually minted in precious metals, with a nominal value and design that are different from those intended for circulation.

They must also differ appreciably from those in circulation in at least two of the following three characteristics: colour, weight and diameter; and they must not have a shaped edge with fine scallops or a ‘Spanish flower’.

Commemorative coins on the other hand are coins intended for circulation as legal tender throughout the euro zone, which meet the following conditions:

  • Their national side is different from the usual one, while the common side is maintained.
  • They are of 2 euros only.
  • Each Member State may only issue two commemorative coins per year See note (1).
  • They have a limited maximum issue volume.
  • They are intended to commemorate a specific event or person.
  • Notice must be given six months in advance of the characteristics of the issue.

The first commemorative euro coin issued in Spain was to mark the quatercentenary of the first publication of the work The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha.

(1) As a rule, euro countries may each issue only two €2 commemorative coins per year. Exceptionally, they are allowed to issue a third, provided that it is one issued jointly and that it commemorates events of Europe-wide importance.