France’s 2016 Europa Star Series Celebrates 20th Century Culture


The Monnaie de Paris has released its first issues in 2016’s Europa Star series. This year is the first in a five-year sequence exploring “five ages” of Europe; 2016 coins in this series are themed “Contemporary Europe”  and will honor France’s cultural contributions during the 20th century.

The current design has been issued on five coins bearing different monetary denominations: a €10 silver Proof coin, and €5, €50, €200, and €500 gold Proof versions.

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The reverse design for these issues features a rendering of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, regarded as a hallmark of modern architecture. A portrait of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent is also included, along with an image of Saint Laurent’s iconic Mondrian dress. This dress is highlighted in full color on the €10 silver Proof coin. Inscribed in the field of the reverse is a replica of the Saint Laurent’s handwritten autograph and the denomination.

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The obverse features a depiction of the goddess Europa, with the inscriptions EUROPE CONTEMPORAINE, REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE, and 2016 curving around the central image. A star logo located below Europa is included on all releases in this series, by all participating countries.

The silver coin is 90% silver and weighs 22.2 grams, with a diameter of 37 mm. It has a mintage limited to 10,000 pieces and is available for €69.

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The €5 gold Proof coin is composed of a half gram of .999 gold. Its diameter measures 11 mm, its mintage is capped at 5,000 units, and it is available for €67. The €50 issue is composed of a quarter ounce of .92 gold and measures 22 mm in diameter. It is available for €490 and has a mintage limit of 1,000. The €200 coin is composed of an ounce of .999 gold and measures 37 mm in diameter. It costs €1,960 and has a mintage limited to 500 pieces. Finally, the €500 issue is composed of 5 ounces of .999 gold and measures 50 mm across. It is available for €9,700 and has a mintage limited to just 99 coins.

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For more information on France’s new “Contemporary Europe” coins and the Europa Star series, please visit the Web site of the Monnaie de Paris.

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