Central Bank to Issue Only EUR 2 Commemorative Coins after Euro Changeover

The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) will be allowed to issue commemorative coins only with a denomination of EUR 2 after Bulgaria’s entry into the euro area, which is planned for the beginning of 2025. In addition, it will also be able to issue collector coins, which, however, must be of a denomination, colour and size different from the coins in circulation in order to be distinguishable from them, the Central Bank said, as quoted by the Telegraf daily.
Each country that uses the euro as its official currency may issue two commemorative coins per year. These coins have the same features, properties and common side as normal EUR 2 coins. What makes them different is the commemorative design on their national side. Only the EUR 2 denomination can be used for commemorative coins, the European Central Bank (ECB) website states.
As a rule, each country may issue only two EUR 2 commemorative coins per year. Exceptionally, a third coin may be issued, provided it is issued jointly by all euro area countries and commemorates an event of Europe-wide importance.
These jointly-issued coins have a common design on the national side as well as the name of the issuing country and the event commemorated in the respective national language or languages. EUR 2 commemorative coins are legal tender throughout the euro area. That means they can be used – and must be accepted – just like any other euro coins.
Most of the coins commemorate anniversaries of historical events or draw attention to current events of cultural importance. For example, the very first EUR 2 commemorative coin was issued by Greece to celebrate the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
While the ECB is responsible for approving the maximum volume of coins each country may issue, including commemorative coins, their design and issuance remain a national competence, the European Central Bank website says.
In the last couple of years, interest in the commemorative coins of the BNB has been huge. Each newly minted coin runs out in a day or two. The old issues are also being snapped up, with only five types of commemorative metal money left available at the central bank’s cash desks. To meet the high interest, the BNB is introducing a new practice from 2024 – putting into circulation up to four gold commemorative coins a year, which have no pre-determined mintage. The general design of the reverse side is set to use the icon of the Theotokos the Golden Apple, recommended by the Holy Synod. This icon of the Mother of God dates from the 17th century and is kept at the church in Gorni Voden neighborhood of Asenovgrad.
The first gold coins without a predetermined issue will be issued in January 2024. The circulation of the four coins “St. The four coins of the Virgin Mary – Golden Apple will be issued at the beginning of each calendar year, with only the year of issue changing on the obverse. At the end of the year, minting will cease and the respective mintage for the four types of different sizes will be announced.