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12 NATION PRE EURO ZONE COIN COLLECTION(TOTAL of 79 COINS) in FANCY ALBUMThis amazing collection saw the end of an era of independent coinages from 12 European nations. Although Europe has witnessed other attempts at unifying several currencies (the most successful was begun by Napoleon), none was as determined as this most recent switch in 2002. Twelve countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain) joined at once, ending some of the world’s oldest coin denomination types. The collection consists of a color map of the countries that came aboard in 2002 and a page featuring two coin sets representing the actual circulating values of the very last issues before the Euro. Many members-to-be of the Euro zone had ceased production of coinage well before the 2002 cutoff date, as it was felt that what was in circulation could stay that way. Many of the coins became scarce, especially in brand new condition – this grouping consists of mainly uncirculated pieces, with some ranging into the extremely fine category. Each group consists of no less than 4 coins, with as many as 9, plus a color info card with flag, coat-of-arms etc. This collection is made up of; Austria = 5 coins with Edelweiss flowers, Lipizzaner horse & rider, shield, coat-of-arms etc. Belgium = 5 coins mostly with the king or other heads, plants, royal crown etc. Finland = 5 coins with lion, seal, rooster, plant & polar bear. France = 9 coins with a bi-metallic 10 Francs & a Tri-metallic 20 Francs (one of the first) showing De Coubertin, as founder of the modern (1896) Olympic Games. Germany = 8 coins represented by a plant, a kneeling woman, eagles and patriot Kurt Schumacher, a rigorous anti-Nazi. Greece = 7 coins which besides the ships, plants, cannon etc, features portraits of Aristotle, Democritus, Alexander the Great etc. The Drachma was the oldest continuously circulating value in the history of coinage. Ireland = 7 coins in high quality metals with cultural designs (Book of Kells & 2nd Bible of Charles the Bald), a bull, salmon, horse, woodcock (multi sided coin) and an Irish red deer, all with harp reverse. Italy = 8 coins with a dolphin, wheat, some other plants, a bird. Police commemorative, a bi-metallic hand holding wheat and another bi-metallic with a map depicting a Unified Germany, among the other Euro zone nations. Luxembourg = 4 coins, besides being the tiniest country in the zone, it is and has traditionally been the hardest to acquire coinage from, all with royal portraits. Netherlands = 6 coins, a stunning set all with the Queen’s portrait. Portugal = 7 coins, with several nautical exploration topics, highlighted by Pedro Nunes & de Orta. Spain = 8 coins with a few royals (Juan Carlos) and the only holed coin in the collection. All of this is presented in an attractive embossed album with European map & flags in color and the Euro currency symbol(shown on a black background), with imprinted spine.