Check €2 coins in your change in France - some are worth a lot more

Some coins in circulation may net a tidy sum if attractive to collectors

Certain coins can be worth much more than their face value
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Checking your change after a purchase can be useful to verify the amount is correct - but it can also help you spot if you have netted a collector’s item in France. 

You may have become more vigilant in checking since the end of automatic receipts in France but it is worth noting too that ‘commemorative’ €2 euro coins can also make their way into change and some can be sold for much more than their face value.

Read more: What can I do with my old euro coins in France?

Coins are legal tender and can be used in shops

Unlike special gold and silver euro ‘commemorative’ coins – that are only for collectors and cannot be used to make purchases – the commemorative €2 coins keep their status as legal tender.

Since 2012, each eurozone country has been able to mint up to two types of commemorative €2 coin per year (previously they could only mint one per year). 

The European Central Bank (ECB) controls how many of the coins can be minted, but each country has control over the obverse design of the coin (the reverse must follow ECB rules).

European microstates that use the euro – Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, and the Vatican City – can also mint commemorative €2 coins and many of these have a higher value due to their rarity.

Nations often use the coins to commemorate a special monument, figure, or natural landscape in their country, or an event of national, European, or global significance.

Sometimes special coins are minted by several nations, celebrating events such as the Treaty of Rome or the start of the Erasmus study abroad programme.

Read more: €2 Olympics coin given to Paris children being sold online for €600

These coins are released into circulation to replace older coins and millions commissioned by larger countries are minted.

For example, in 2023 France’s commemorative €2 coin celebrated the Rugby World Cup held that year, and 15 million were minted.

Around 50 million of Germany’s two commemorative €2 coins were minted in 2023, making it highly likely one of these more common coins has already passed through your hands.

Collectors will not pay much – or anything – for the most common coins but they may pay €3 to €4 for slightly less common pieces, or up to €10 for others, which are in wide circulation, such as France’s 2015 ‘Marianne’ coin.

Other rare coins include Monaco’s 2015 coin depicting the original ‘fortress on the rock’ in the microstate, and Lithuania’s ‘Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve’ coin from 2021.

The latter is sought after because the first batch of coins minted contained an error, with the inscription on the coin in Latvian and not Lithuanian.

These can both fetch over €2,000. 

However, coins that had a larger circulation can still fetch a good price on coin auction sites. 

An online search by members of our team found the 2011 Slovakian €2 coin – over 5 million of which went into circulation – is being sold for around €17.50 online. 

Others, such as the Republic of Ireland’s 2002 ‘Celtic Harp’ coin, can go for more than €50 on auction websites such as Ebay.

You can find a full list on the ECB’s website.

One of the most prized €2 coin is the Monaco 2007 ‘Grace Kelly’ coin, a €2 piece depicting the principality’s former princess on the 25th anniversary of her death.

Only 20,000 of the coins were minted, and those in very good condition can reach up to €5,000. However, like Monaco's 'fortress' €2, few, if any, of these went into circulation and were snapped up by collectors on issue.

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