What could Lithuanian euro coins have looked like?


On 1 January 2017 we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the first euro coins and banknotes that replaced the national currencies of 12 European countries and the 2nd anniversary of the adoption of the euro in Lithuania.

The euro in Lithuania was planned to be adopted in 2007 (unfortunately, as the country did not fully comply with the Maastricht criteria at that time, it was not possible). A competition to design the national side of euro coins was announced and the most famous Lithuanian artists were invited to try their hand in it. Before the competition, it had to be decided what should be featured on Lithuanian euro coins. A lot of suggestions were made, including featuring various Lithuanian architectural objects (e.g. Gediminas Castle or St. Anne’s Church), but it was later decided that these buildings are not well-known worldwide and that Lithuania would be best identified by its several centuries-old symbol – the coat of arms called Vytis. Therefore, the competition’s conditions stated that all submitted plaster models had to feature these compulsory elements: a modified symbol of the Vytis, inscriptions LIETUVA and 2007, 12 stars surrounding the centre, as it was on the coins created by the European Monetary Union’s Member States, and the logo of the Lithuanian Mint. The competition was intended to select three different plaster models: the first one for 1, 2 and 5 euro cent coins, the second one – for 10, 20 and 50 euro cent coins and the third one – for 1 and 2 euro coins. It could either be three different designs or the same one for all of them. Some artists submitted different designs (e.g. Petras Repšys offered a look at how the Vytis had changed throughout the centuries. Every image was different, including positions of the horse’s tail, sword and so on), whereas others submitted only one common design. Five places were awarded. The winner was awarded a prize of 40,000 litas. The winning design of the national side was submitted by the artist Antanas Žukauskas, although it was only implemented in 2015, when Lithuania actually adopted the euro.

In the gallery, you can see all five awarded designs, which can be found at the Money Museum’s exhibition.