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Book tracks euro zone coins

Part of the fun of attending a major numismatic event such as the World Money Fair in Berlin is the possibility of accidental meetings with interesting people. Yesterday in the lobby of the Estrel Hotel I ran into Sebastian Richter and Florian Dyballa. They and an associate were waiting to leave for the airport after the show closed. I said hello and they invited me to join them.

That was a lucky break for me. I had been to their table earlier. It was busy, so all I did was pick up a brochure. I never made it back there again so this allowed me to talk to them about their new book.

The pair are partners in a new coin catalog. The first edition was printed late last year. The title is “2 Euro Muenzenkatalog/Coin Catalogue." It was created to list all of the 2 euro coins being issued by the members of the euro zone. Each issuing country produces a circulating 2 euro coin for regular commercial use. To that they are given the right to issue an annual commemorative 2 euro, which also circulates, but often is snapped up by collectors. In some years the euro countries issue a common commemorative 2 euro where each of the countries issue a coin with the same design. That means there are up to three 2 euro coins a year issued by the participating countries. Some countries have more than one mint. In Germany’s case, there are five mints.

The purpose of this handy new 200-page, digest-size book is to keep track of these issues, organizing them by country and year of issue. Mints of origin and mintage figures are supplied.

Since circulating euro coins were first issued in 2002 and the first 2 euro commemoratives in 2003, there have been quite a few coins issued and this book helps collectors keep track of them. The catalog is priced at 8.95 euro, or approximately $12.50, give or take a little depending on the day’s exchange rate.

The book originated as a Web site project by a hobbyist that grew. Richter noted how important he considered print versions of things to be. I had told him I had planned to blog on this topic and he asked whether I was planning to mention the book in the papers as well. I then promised him I would after I return to the United States. It is nice to hear that in the mind of someone who is about 25 years old that print versions of things are still important.

In the meantime, if you are curious, check out the Web site at