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Andorra Art on Coin
The Principality of Andorra is a small nation that is located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees Mountains. Its coinage has had a strange history, and it continues to be somewhat unusual. Historically Andorra used the coins of its neighbors, and when those neighbors joined the European Union it began using the Euro, even though Andorra did not join the European Union. It was basically a country without its own currency. The use of the Euro allowed Andorra to function, but limited its ability to issue money.
Principality of Andorra
Many small nations found willing buyers for beautiful, low mintage coins. The result was an explosion of commemorative coins, especially the commemorative coins of small island nations that were being minted with limited quantities. These coins were often fine silver coins, usually from a short series that would be easy to collect, and generally enameled with brilliant colors. Some even had special features added. And these nations were rewarded with coin sales well over the denominations the coins would bear.
Andorra had a problem. It had no official denomination of its own. It was prevented from minting Euros. Yet, the lucrative commemorative coin industry beckoned.
The Principality of Andorra found a way around the dilemma, well, sort of. The country issued coins using the monetary unit of diner. Soon, silver commemorative coins, some of the most artistic of any country’s issues, were being cranked out with limited numbers of any design. The diner denomination, and the centim, one hundredth of a diner, have been used since 1977 to satisfy the need for commemorative coins, although the abundance of small nation commemorative issues is more recent.
Is this really a solution? Yes, it is a coin of a government, and has a denomination, but can it be spent? It is more like a ceremonial piece than a legal tender coin. Still, some of these pieces made with precious metals and depicting miniature copies of fine art pieces makes one look and think, this can be collectible.
In 2013 Andorra finally had the needed permission to mint some Euro coins, and delayed implementing this until 2014. But, in 2014 the Principality of Andorra continued to mint commemorative coins using diners. Since the Principality of Andorra has not yet qualified to join the European Union this concession to be allowed to mint a limited number of Euro coins is not likely to impact the need for diner denomination coins for Andorra’s commemorative coin pieces. Once Andorra completes legislation to close a tax sheltering, the point of contention with the European Union, it may be granted full status in the European Union. But then will come the question, will Andorra be allowed to continue minting diners or be forced to use Euros for its commemorative coinage?
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