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Medals and tokens similar to euro coins

Medals and tokens similar to euro coins



Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins


  • It lays down uniform conditions for the production of medals and tokens similar to euro coins in order to protect citizens from the risk of confusion or fraud.
  • It defines the use of the terms relating to the euro, on the one hand, and the degree of technical similarity between medals/tokens and euro coins, on the other.


  • The regulation is designed to protect the public from the risk of confusion or fraud caused by metallic objects, such as medals and tokens, with strong similarities to euro coins. Not only could such medals and tokens be mistaken for legal tender (accepted if offered in payment like coins or notes), they could also be used illegally instead of euro coins.
  • For the purposes of the regulation, medals and tokens are defined as metallic objects that have the appearance and/or technical properties of euro coins, but that are not issued under national or participating non-EU country legislative measures or other foreign legislative measures and that therefore are neither a legal means of payment nor legal tender.
  • The regulation prohibits the production, sale, importation and distribution (for sale or for other commercial purposes) of medals and tokens having visual characteristics or properties similar to the single currency.
  • Medals and tokens must not bear
    • the term ‘euro’ or ‘euro cent’ or
    • the euro symbol on their surface.
  • They also may not include
    • any design similar to designs depicted on euro coins,
    • symbols representing the sovereignty of European Union (EU) countries,
    • the edge shape or design of euro coins or the euro symbol.
  • Lastly, medals and tokens must not be of the same size as euro coins. The European Commission is to specify whether a metallic object is a medal or token and whether the prohibitions of this regulation apply.
  • Medals and tokens bearing the term ‘euro’ or ‘euro cent’ or the euro symbol without an associated nominal value are allowed, provided that their size is sufficiently different from that of euro coins and that they do not include a design similar to the designs and symbols listed above. If, however, they are very similar in size, they must either have a hole in their centre or form a polygon of not more than six edges, or be made of gold, silver or platinum, or be consistently outside the ranges specified.
  • The Commission may grant specific authorisations to use the term ‘euro’ or ‘euro cent’ or the euro symbol where there is no risk of confusion. In such cases, the economic operator concerned within an EU country must be clearly identifiable on the surface of the medal or token.
  • If the medal or token also bears an associated nominal value, the indication ‘not legal tender’ must be stamped on its obverse or reverse side in addition.
  • The denominations and technical specifications of euro coins, the only coinage having legal tender in the euro area, are laid down in Council Regulation (EU) No 729/2014.
  • Medals and tokens issued before the entry into force of the regulation could be used until the end of 2009, provided that they were not used instead of euro coins. Such medals and tokens must be recorded in accordance with the procedures applicable in EU countries and communicated to the European Technical and Scientific Centre.
  • This regulation is applicable in all EU countries that introduced the euro in 2002 (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain). Its scope is extended by Regulation (EC) No 2183/2004, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 47/2009, to EU countries that have not yet introduced the euro . EU countries had to lay down and implement rules on sanctions applicable to infringements of the regulation by 1 July 2005.


It has applied since 21 December 2004.


Council Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 of 6 December 2004 concerning medals and tokens similar to euro coins (OJ L 373, 21.12.2004, pp. 1-6)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 2182/2004 have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 02.02.2017