The Europa Coin Programme, also referred to as the Europa Silver Star Coin Programme or Eurostar Programme, is an interesting concept that has been running for several years.
Member countries of the European Union cooperate to issue coins celebrating common aspects of European identity with a different theme selected for each year. All coins must be at least .900 fine silver, crown size, and carry the “Europa Star” privy mark. Coins may be issued in euros as well as other currencies.
The theme for 2012 is European Artists with 14 countries participating this year:
- Austria – Egon Schiele
- Belgium – Paul Delvaux
- Czech Republic – Jiří Trnka
- Finland – Henrik Wigström
- France – Daniel Buren
- Hungary – József Reményi
- Ireland – Jack B. Yeats
- Italy – Michelangelo Buonarroti
- Latvia – Kārlis Zāle
- Malta – Antonio Sciortino
- Netherlands – Netherlands and the Arts
- Portugal – José Malhoa
- Slovakia – Master Pavol of Levoča
- Spain – Juan Gris
The lines with included links lead to coverage on CoinUpdate. Not all of the coins have been released yet and some designs remain unannounced. Below is a selection of some of the design or coins that have been released so far.
Italy- Michelangelo Buonarroti
Austria – Egon Schiele
Finland – Fabergé Artistry of Henrik Wigström
Slovakia – Master Pavol of Levoča
Spain – Juan Gris
I like the idea of all countries cooperating to focus on a common theme. The coins of the program also showcase the different styles and design conventions utilized by the different countries.
The themes for previous years of the Europa Coin Programme are shown below:
- 2004 – EU Enlargement
- 2005 – Peace and Freedom
- 2006 – Distinguished European Figures
- 2007 – European Realisation
- 2008 – Cultural Heritage
- 2009 – European Heritage
- 2010 – European Architecture
- 2011 – European Explorers