Harry Watterson writes:
It's not often you see a numismatic library in the New York Times and a coin critique.
The primarily non-numismatic article about the ten year anniversary of the Euro pictures Michel Prieur in a numismatic library.
In Brussels, there will be neither a ceremony nor even a news conference to mark the occasion. That set the tone for other countries, many of which were doing the minimum: preparing to circulate a 2-euro commemorative coin for the anniversary.
The coin features the kind of generic symbols — a family, a ship, a factory and wind turbines — that have earned the euro a reputation as a currency designed by committee not to offend anyone, but unlikely to inspire, either.
But the euro has conjured little of the affection or patriotism that the dollar evokes in America, no nickname comparable to the greenback. The fondest memories are reserved for the old national currencies.
For Ivan Grossi, a sales representative who works in Rome, the advent of the new currency was never much to celebrate. “I grew up with the lira, it was like one of the family, and I felt an enormous sadness when the euro was introduced,” he said.
Jason Charbit, a Frenchman studying business across the channel in London, called the euro bills “Monopoly money.” “Franc bills were more solid,” he said. “You had the impression you had real money.”
Michel Prieur, a numismatist in Paris and a member of the collectors group The Friends of the Euro, said that if policy makers were trying to create warm feelings toward their currency, they had gone about it all wrong, with sterile architectural designs on the bills. Coins usually have national designs on the back, but the bills have “bridges that come from nowhere and that lead nowhere” and “windows that open onto nothing,” he said.
To read the complete article, see:
No Fireworks for Euro as It Reaches the 10-Year Mark
Wayne Homren, Editor
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