In March we shared a story on our Facebook page about a new €2 coin proposed by Belgium to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo in this, its bicentenary year. France made it very clear they would not welcome any such design, branding the commemoration of Waterloo as a “symbol that is negative” which would “undermine the unity of the Eurozone.”
This caused more than a little grievance with Belgium, who had already struck around 180,000 €2 coins ready for circulation, prior to receiving the veto letter from Paris.
Now, in an unprecedented and surprisingly provocative move, Belgium has moved to defy France and issue a new coin which takes advantage of a European rule stating that Eurozone countries are permitted to approve their own coins without approval of other member states, providing the new denomination is an irregular one.
In this case the irregular denomination is €2.50.
The reverse design features the Lion’s Mound monument which currently stands at the Waterloo battlefield, as well as lines indicating the position of the troops.
Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat and ultimate exile in 1815 still leaves a bitter taste with the French, but Belgium have denied acting antagonistically.
Belgian finance minister, Johan Van Overtveldt, defended the new coin by emphasising the magnitude of the occasion; “There’s been no battle in in recent history as important as Waterloo, or indeed one that captures the imagination in the same way.”
Regardless of intent, the new coin has caused quite a stir, with the story being picked up by the worldwide media.
There are only 70,000 new coins which will all be legal tender in Belgium, but it is thought that collectors will be very quick to snap them up considering the controversy over their release.
** Unfortunately this has now SOLD OUT **
We have been able to secure a very limited number of the new Waterloo €2.50 coin from Europe.
They are available now for just £9.99, however, we are expecting them to sell out in record time – so please be quick to reserve yours!
The new coins for 2015 have been revealed by The Royal Mint, but what do you think about the designs? Vote for your favourite in our poll below.
- Battle of Britain 50p
Next year’s 50p commemorating the Battle of Britain features three men rushing to their grounded aircraft, while a multitude of aircraft swarm in the skies ahead. The designer Gary Breeze wanted to convey the sense of danger which was posed at the time, and drew from his Grandfather’s own experience of the German bombers.
- Magna Carta £2
John Bergdahl’s Magna Carta £2 design has a prominent medieval style and is very reminiscent of coins of that era. King John features at the centre, clutching the Magna Carta and a quill, with the anniversary and dates appearing around the outside.
- Royal Navy £2
The second design in the First World War £2 commemorative series focuses on the Royal Navy’s role. The reverse design for the new 2015 coin by David Rowlands features the imposing image of a battleship from the era approaching on the open sea.
- Waterloo £5
The new Waterloo £5 features a design by David Lawrence depicting the relationship between Wellington and Blücher which proved to be so important to the eventual allied victory against Napoleon. In a very detailed and intricate design, both men are shaking hands while on horseback, with the scene of the famous battlefield in the background.
- Churchill £5
Churchill’s death in 1965 led to him becoming the first person outside of the Royal Family to be honoured on a coin. That coin was the 1965 crown, and this new £5 coin 50 years on bears some similarities to the original design, with Churchill’s recognisable face featuring very prominently.
2015 will be a vintage year for UK coins and there are certainly some interesting themes being commemorated. But which of these five new designs is your favourite? Vote in our poll here;