O’Brien Coin Guide: Irish Euro 2c


The 2 cent euro coin (€0.02) has a value of one-hundredth of a euro and is composed of copper-covered steel. The coins of every Euro country have a common reverse and each has a country-specific (national) obverse. The coin has been used since 2002 and was not redesigned in 2007 as was the case with the higher value coins.

2002 Ireland – two cent coin

2002 Ireland – two cent coin

Value 0.02 euro
Mass 3.06 g
Diameter 18.75 mm
Thickness 1.67 mm
Edge Smooth with continuous groove
Composition Copper-plated steel
Years of minting 2002–present

The coin dates from 2002, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12 member Euro Zone and its related overseas territories.

  • The common side was designed by Luc Luycx, a Belgian artist who won a Europe-wide competition to design the new coins.
  • The design of the 1 to 5 cent coins was intended to show the European Union’s (EU) place in the world (relative to Africa and Asia).

The Irish obverse design shows an Irish harp (the Cláirseach), the official state symbol.

  • Vertically on the left hand side is the word “Éire” and on the right hand side is the date.
  • The harp motif was designed by Jarlath Hayes.

The one and two-cent coins were initially introduced to ensure that the transition to the euro was not used as an excuse by retailers to heavily round up prices. However, due to the cost of maintaining a circulation of low value coins, by business, retail banks and the mints, Finland and the Netherlands round prices to the nearest five cents (Swedish rounding) if paying by cash, while producing only a handful of those coins for collectors, rather than general circulation.

  • Despite this, the coins are still legal tender and produced outside these states
  • So if customers with two-cent coins minted elsewhere wish to pay with them, they may.
Year 2c  
2002 354,618,386
2003 177,225,034
2004 142,964,694
2005   72,549,884
2006   26,588,597
2007 200,887,066
2008   42,116,152
2009   41,091,162
2010     3,496,511
2011     4,813,844
2012   35,000,000
2013   40,000,000
2014 *
2015 *

* As 1c and 2c coins are of comparatively low value, a National Payments Plan prepared by the Central Bank of Ireland approved by the Government in April 2013 plans “to trial the use of a rounding convention in a pilot project in a mid-size Irish town”, with the 1c and 2c no longer being minted while remaining legal tender.

The town chosen was Wexford.

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