Driving to work on Monday I learned of Pope Benedict's abdication. "Wait a minute," I thought - "Popes don't DO that". Well this one did, and it's been centuries since that happened last. As E-Sylum editor, my thoughts then turned to the implications for numismatics.
Transitional papal coinage is typically issued in any interregnum between the reigns of two popes. The interim period is called "Sede Vacante", or "vacant seat".
With the "heads' up" from Benedict, the Vatican has a short head start on the process of selecting a new Pope. Will there be a Sede Vacante period this time, and if so, how long might it last? Long enough to issue Sede Vacante coins and medals?
P.K. Saha writes:
The news website euronews is reporting that the Pope will resign on the 28th February 2013 because he no longer has the strength to fulfill the duties of his office. This will be the first time since the early 15th century that a Pope has retired. Conclave to elect the new pope will be held in March.
Once a new pope is elected, the Vatican will issue a new standard coin set (4th Series) featuring the new pope. Pope Benedict was elected in April 2005 but the new standard set was issued 1 year after - April 2006, thus, it is very likely that the new 4th series will be issued next year. However, since this time the Vatican will not issue a Sede Vacante standard coin set, it might issue the new standard coins this year.
During last Sede Vacante, the Vatican has issued a new series of standard coins, however, this won't happen this time as the EU has changed the rules - now the Vatican is allowed to issue another 2 euro commemorative coin to commemorate the Sede Vacante - thus this year we can expect two €2 commemorative coins from the Vatican.
He also forwarded this artist's concept of a new Vatican Sede Vacante coin design. Thanks!
The artist displays designs for a number of fantasy Euro coins and notes:
COINS & NOTE DESIGNS
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
MORE ON TRANSITIONAL PAPAL COINAGE
VATICAN COINS COULD BECOME AVAILABLE IN CIRCULATION
Wayne Homren, Editor
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