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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Vatican euros prove a runaway success
St. Peters Square at the Vatican City
The first run of Vatican euros sold out quickly
The Vatican is issuing a second edition of its eight-coin euro packs, which have proved a runaway success with collectors and the public alike.

The first editions, sold in March, cost 12 euros per pack but are now changing hands at up to 1,000 euros, collectors have told the BBC's World Business Report.


Lots of people thought this could have been a new investment

Filippo Bonaffi
Italian coin dealer
The Vatican limited edition sets feature an image of John Paul II designed by Italian sculptor Guido Veroi and have a face value of 3.88 euros.

The appeal of John Paul II, who has served for more than 20 years, and the limited number of the Vatican coins minted are thought to have fuelled demand for the coins.

Ten thousand silver five euro coins will also go on sale, aimed at collectors as five euro coins are not in general circulation.

The Vatican also plans to sell limited numbers of several other denominations in December.

Rush to buy

Fifty one billion coins of all denominations were ready to go into circulation across the eurozone on 1 January 2002.

Three small territories with links to the euro region - the Vatican City, San Marino, and Monaco - were allowed to mint and circulate six million coins between them.

When the initial run of Vatican eight-coin euro packs went on sale, buyers were limited to two sets each and the 69,000 sets sold out immediately.

Filipo Bolaffi of Bolaffi, one of Italy's biggest stamp and coin dealers, told the BBC's World Business Report interest was widespread.

"This is in not only the traditional markets, the collectors, but also - thanks to the rumours and the publicity - lots of people who had nothing to do with coins thought that this could have been a new investment."

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Filipo Bolaffi, Bolaffi
"There has been huge interest in the euro changeover generally"
See also:

31 Jul 02 | Americas
28 Feb 02 | Business
31 Oct 01 | Europe
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