Author Topic: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue  (Read 7754 times)

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Offline Pabitra

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Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« on: January 13, 2014, 10:12:29 PM »
<k>

Lithuania was to issue euro on 1st January 2007. Starter kits were minted (image shown)

Two small queries

1. Why was the changeover abandoned at the last moment? Can that happen again?

2. Do you think the design already approved will hold good or there might a different design now?

Offline <k>

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 10:33:26 PM »
Lithuania was to issue euro on 1st January 2007. Starter kits were minted (image shown)

1. Why was the changeover abandoned at the last moment? Can that happen again?

I imagine it was due to economic difficulties, as the world approached the big crash of 2008, but probably Christian or Figleaf could give you precise details.

2. Do you think the design already approved will hold good or there might a different design now?

I should think so. Lithuania is very fond of its emblem knight, Vytis, and has used it on most of its coins. It's possible there may be minor adjustments to the figure of the knight, as there have been in the past, but that is probably unnecessary. The world economy is still fragile, however (look at all the quantitative easing still going on), so that could still present problems for Lithuania or anybody else.

See Post-communist coinage of Lithuania for some of the various portraits of Vytis on the circulation coins.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 10:46:38 PM »
Lithuania was to issue euro on 1st January 2007.

Not really. Lithuania had aimed at introducing the euro in Jan-2007, but in 2006 the European Commission and ultimately the Council decided that the country did not (as in "almost, but not quite") meet the convergence criteria. And yes, theoretically something like that could happen again. Usually the ultimate OK comes about half a year before the changeover, but there are earlier "signals" from the ECB and the European Commission ...

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Why was the changeover abandoned at the last moment? Can that happen again?

It was not abandoned; Lithuania simply did not meet the convergence criteria. By a very thin margin, yes, and of course there were people who argued that these criteria should be applied more flexibly. (After all, once a country is in, the stability criteria are practically not carved in stone ...) If the Lithuanian government started a campaign now, saying that "we will join the euro area on this and that date", it should be very sure that all criteria are met. So it makes more sense to say "we aim at this and that date" ...

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Do you think the design already approved will hold good or there might a different design now?

So far the Lithuanian government has not indicated that there could be revised designs. Guess we will see eight identical obverses. :-\ What I find interesting is that the Lithuanian mint apparently made about 10,000 "euro coins" dated 2007 ... and that those are still stored at the mint (article in Lithuanian). No idea whether they are marked in any way ...

Christian

Offline Pabitra

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 11:17:24 AM »
. Lithuania is very fond of its emblem knight, Vytis, and has used it on most of its coins. It's possible there may be minor adjustments to the figure of the knight, as there have been in the past, but that is probably unnecessary.
I think they should avail this opportunity to go in for a modern look of their knight, Vytis as they have done in case of recent circulating commem and collector coins.

So far the Lithuanian government has not indicated that there could be revised designs. Guess we will see eight identical obverses. :-\ What I find interesting is that the Lithuanian mint apparently made about 10,000 "euro coins" dated 2007 ... and that those are still stored at the mint  No idea whether they are marked in any way ...

Could be too early to announce anything. Once bitten twice shy.
They would not prefer to mint coins too much in advance so as to avoid repeat fiasco.
The earlier coins are marked by year 2007 and legally speaking they are just tokens even if the same design is repeated.
The question remains as to what would fetch them higher prices, the same design being repeated and selling 2007 coins as collector items or going in for new design and selling 2007 sets as variations or tokens?


Online Figleaf

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 12:40:41 PM »
legally speaking they are just tokens

Ouch. :P JUST tokens?

Tokens are many things, but they are not coins in whatever form and there is no law in the world that defines or regulates tokens (in the past some of them were banned, but that's no different from coins.)

The 2007 series are not money, because they never circulated. If they are ever released, even in sealed sets, they are pseudo money if their price is more than their denomination. I would expect the EU insisting that they are destroyed, though. That would make the escapees pseudo money also. I don't collect coins that are not money. Others do.

What you may have been thinking of is legal tender status. This is irrelevant. The concept was invented only in the early 19th century in order to force people to accept underweight coins, so most coins were never legal tender. Today, the weight and content of coins are without any importance, therefore legal tender status is superfluous. People will use a coin or note because it can be spent again, not because the government says so. Meanwhile, many pseudo coins are legal tender, while they cannot circulate. If I remember correctly (Christian will without doubt correct me if I don't) there is no European law obliging euro country citizens to accept or use euro coins and banknotes whether or not in a limited quantity or any other regulation that could be construed as giving the euro a legal tender status.

Petre
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 01:30:52 PM »
there is no European law obliging euro country citizens to accept or use euro coins and banknotes whether or not in a limited quantity or any other regulation that could be construed as giving the euro a legal tender status.

Maybe we should keep two issues apart here. Yes, EU law deals with the legal tender status of euro cash. Let's start with Article 128 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union): "The banknotes issued by the European Central Bank and the national central banks shall be the only such notes to have the status of legal tender within the Union."

Also, this regulation (i.e. directly binding law) says, in Article 10, that "these banknotes denominated in euro shall be the only banknotes which have the status of legal tender in all these Member States." And Article 11 states that "coins denominated in euro or in cent (...) shall be the only coins which have the status of legal tender in all these Member States. Except for the issuing authority and for those persons specifically designated by the national legislation of the issuing Member State, no party shall be obliged to accept more than 50 coins in any single payment."

So here we do have the legal tender status. (There are additional regulations at a national level, I think.) But - and now comes the part that is practically more relevant - that does not mean much in everyday life. I cannot force a merchant to accept my 200 note: "Look, this is legal tender! You have to accept it!" As you wrote, that is not how things work. ;)

Christian

Offline Pabitra

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 12:29:04 PM »
Lithuania has started getting ready for the Euro

See

http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/finances/?doc=89085

Offline Bimat

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Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 04:14:45 PM »
2015 Lithuanian euro coin samples have been minted

BC, Vilnius, 16.04.2014

The Board of the Bank of Lithuania approved the 2015 issue Lithuanian euro coin samples, which will the basis for the Lithuanian circulation euro coins, the Bank of Lithuania said in a statement, cites LETA.

"The euro in Lithuania is taking an actual physical form the Lithuanian coins with the 2015 date now exist not only on paper, but have been minted from metal as well. The circulation euro coin samples are high quality examples of coins they will be the basis for the coins jingling in the purses of the Lithuanian population," says Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
 
According to him, mass-minting of the Lithuanian euro coins is planned for the end of summer, when the decision of the Council of the European Union, regarding the euro adoption in Lithuania, will be announced. Until then, small amounts of test sample coins may be minted, seeking to test the coin blanks, minting tools and the coin measuring-control equipment. The overall demand for Lithuanian euro coins is around 370 million units.
 
The national side of the Lithuanian circulation euro coins was designed by the sculptor Antanas Zukauskas. The Board of the Bank of Lithuania has three different designs for the national side (obverse). They depict the symbol from the emblem of the Lithuanian State Vytis, and it is surrounded by the inscriptions LIETUVA (Lithuania), 2015 and twelve stars: on one and two euro coins a background of vertical lines; the 10, 20 and 50 euro cent coins horizontal lines; on one, two and five euro cent coins a plain surface.
 
The edge of the Lithuanian two euro coin bears the inscription: LAISVE, VIENYBE, GEROVE (Freedom, Unity, Well-Being).
 
The circulation euro and euro cent coins with the Vytis will be minted in Vilnius by UAB Lithuanian Mint. The 1 and 2 euro coins will be dual coloured, minted from coloured metal alloys; the 10, 20, 50 euro cent coins from the so-called 'Nordic gold' alloy; the one, two and five euro cent coins from copper coated steel. Every state, which has adopted the euro, has the right to issue euro coins of which one side is the same for all countries (common side) and the other is different (national side). According to surveys, almost 70 per cent of the population positively evaluate the Vytis on the Lithuanian euro coins. Lithuania aims to adopt the euro from January 1, 2015.

Source: Baltic Course

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 11:58:34 AM »
A few days ago (7 April) the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) has preliminarily approved of the adoption of the euro in Lithuania. http://www.euro.lt/en/news/introduction-of-the-euro-in-lithuania/news/8707/

And only a week later the Lithuanian Mint presents, as you mentioned, its first 2015 euro prototypes. :) Here are some more images http://www.lb.lt/the_2015_lithuanian_euro_coin_samples_have_been_minted_1. Then again we know the designs (in fact, just one if you do not take the "stripe types" into account) already.

Christian

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 03:39:20 PM »
What I find interesting is that the Lithuanian mint apparently made about 10,000 "euro coins" dated 2007 ... and that those are still stored at the mint (article in Lithuanian). No idea whether they are marked in any way ...

They aren't marked. A few weeks ago I have asked the Lithuanian mint what is going to happen with these coins, they answered me that they don't know yet but however I shouldn't (yet) exclude the possibility that they will be issued. For now, I am waiting for the first ones to escape the mint  ;D

Offline natko

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 05:09:55 PM »
Wow, this is totally new for me. I had no idea these were actually made. I also guess if the design stays as the official, they will be issued when euro becomes legal tender. Same story with all these euros that were minted in '99, '00 and '01.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 07:00:50 PM »
Same story with all these euros that were minted in '99, '00 and '01.

Not quite the same. Keep in mind that the euro was created on 1-Jan-1999. So it made sense, for the euro area mints, to pick 1999 as the first year. Other countries chose 2002 for the pieces minted at the same time, as 1-Jan-2002 was when they became legal tender. Note that none of the euro area countries ever issued euro coins dated 1998. Production started in summer '98, but the earliest year used is 1999.

The Lithuania samples minted in 2006 (dated 2007), however, were simply trials. The country was not a euro area member then. Why the Lithuanian Mint kept those trial pieces instead of destroying most of them ... don't ask me. :)  Assuming the country gets the euro on 1-Jan-2015, it may of course issue the new samples, dated 2015. The older ones - nah.

Christian

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 04:13:51 PM »
The Lithuania samples minted in 2006 (dated 2007), however, were simply trials. The country was not a euro area member then. Why the Lithuanian Mint kept those trial pieces instead of destroying most of them ... don't ask me. :)  Assuming the country gets the euro on 1-Jan-2015, it may of course issue the new samples, dated 2015. The older ones - nah.

An employee of the Mint of Lithuania told me today that representatives of the European Commission had a discussion with Bank of Lithuania about what had to happen with these samples, the (preliminary) decision was that they had to be destroyed.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: Lithuanian Euros and the Legal Tender Issue
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2015, 04:06:16 PM »
The latest update on the 10.000 Lithuanian pattern euro sets dated 2007: Bank of Lithuania was considering to sell the coins in sets, the European Central Bank however has forbidden the Bank of Lithuania to sell the coins. Most likely they will be destroyed.