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Andorra Coins

Updated on June 25, 2017

Andorra Art on Coin


Andorra Coins

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

Commemorative Coinage

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 Solution

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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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      Thanks for the visit. The small city-states also need money so they have to use some kind of coins. Andorra may have the best.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      A really interesting hub - I learn so many unusual things on Hub Pages! Thanks for sharing

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      The coins mentioned are commemorative coins. I believe Andorra is using Euros as circulating coins.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not really seen the diner of Andorra but now that I've read about it, I will be on search. I love coins with beautiful designs.

    • Joyfulcrown profile image

      Joyfulcrown 2 years ago

      How very interesting. I wasn't aware of this. You don't typically hear much about Andorra. Thank you for sharing. I learned something new.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 2 years ago

      The intro image is of one of their commemorative coins, and few are more beautiful.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      That is interesting and I was unaware that Andorra had no official coins of its own. The commemorative coins will probably always retain value especially if they contain real silver and are as beautiful as you alluded.