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National designs were not allowed to change until the end of 2008, unless a monarch (whose portrait usually appears on the coins) died or abdicated.
This happened in Monaco and the Vatican City, resulting in three new designs in circulation (the Vatican had an interim design until the new Pope was selected).
The coin has been used since 2002 and was not redesigned in 2007 as were the higher value coins.
The coin dates from 2002, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12 member eurozone and its related territories.
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) as opposed to the one and two euro coins showing the 15 states as one and the 10 to 50 cent coins showing separate EU states.
The national sides, then 15 (eurozone Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican who could mint their own) were each designed according to national competitions, though to specifications which applied to all coins, such as the requirement of including twelve stars (see euro coins for more).
National designs have seen some changes due to new rules stating that national designs should include the name of the issuing country (Finland and Belgium both do not show their name, and hence have made minor changes).
The obverse side of the coin depends on the issuing country.
It has been used since Cyprus adopted the euro in 2008.
It was chosen in a public vote, and the exact design was created by Erik Maell and Tatiana Soteropoulos.
All have to include twelve stars (in most cases in a circle around the edge), the engraver's initials, and the year of issue.
New designs also have to include the name or initials of the issuing country.
The 2 cent euro coin (€0.02) has a value of one-fiftieth of a euro and is composed of copper-plated steel.