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200 & 100
50 & 20
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2 & 1
50. 20 & 10 cents
5.2 & 1 cents
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5, 2 and 1 euro cent coins
A cent is a cent
It took a long time to agree on the design of the euro coins. The winning design - by the Belgian artist Luc Luycx - was eventually unveiled in June 1997.

One problem was the question which metals should go into the coins. Sweden pointed to studies that up to 20% of women may suffer from nickel allergies and insisted on a replacement alloy called Nordic gold. But in February 1998 it turned out that Europe's 7 million vending machines and countless payphones and parking meters could not distinguish between the new 20 and 50 cent coins containing Nordic gold.

The European Blind Union also complained that all eight euro coins varied only slightly in size and weight.

After a long to-and-fro, and more forceful protests from the European Blind Union, ministers approved a different design in July 1998.

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