Since 1 January 2022, France has been issuing 2 euro coins with a new motif. For twenty years, the tree on the 1 and 2 euro coins has represented life, continuity and growth. 2022 will see the first change of motif in French euro coins.
Changing the Motif Is Only Possible Once Every 15 Years
Changing the motif of 1 and 2 euro coins is anything but easy. A member state has to wait at least 15 years before doing so. And it is only allowed to implement the change if the European Commission approves it. In the case of France, this approval was given on 26 July 2021. The new motif was designed by Joaquin Jimenez, the chief engraver at the Monnaie de Paris, who had also designed the previous motif.
Marc Schwartz, head of the Monnaie de Paris, comments on the change: “We are witnessing a historic moment twenty years after the introduction of the first euro coins. Europe is changing, and its money is changing too. On the twentieth anniversary of the euro and during the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, we are proud to present a design that, once again, represents the values of the Republic and revives the European ideal.”
The New Motif of French Euro Coins
But what is the new motif on France’s euro coins? The tree has given way to a leaf, or rather a bunch of leaves, especially olive and oak leaves. According to the Monnaie de Paris, they symbolize strength and solidarity.
The motto of the French Republic is written on these leaves: Liberty, Egality, Fraternity (in French: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité). The cornucopia at the bottom left is the mint mark, next to it the engraver’s mark and his signature.
This illustration by the mint gives a detailed explanation of the rich imagery used by the new design.
A Two-Part Launch
If you’re heading to France now, diligently looking for the new coins, keep this in mind: as a first step, 2 euro circulation coins have been issued with the new motif since 1 January 2022. 1 euro circulation coins are to be issued at a later, and yet undefined, date in the course of the year. For the time being, only a Proof version of the 1 euro coins for collectors is available.
You can find all euro coins at Cosmos of Collectibles.
This link takes you directly to French euro coins.
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By the way: once again, France won two COTY categories this year, read on to find out which.