You might have noticed that a European debt crisis has caused the markets to panic where some have been saying there is no relief in sight. It started wit the economy of Greece needing its own bailout while it is questioned as to whether they can pay the money back. The the news that Portugal, Spain, and possibly Ireland may follow. As a result, the Euro is at a 4-year low against the dollar and dropping.
Aside from the economic impact, there has been questions about the viability of the European Union as an economic entity and its ability to act as a central bank in the best interests of the sovereign members of the Euro zone. Countries can no longer manipulated their currencies or manufactured more money to maintain solvency. They now have to follow the rules of the European Central Bank in order to maintain “fairness” within the Euro zone.
What would happen if these countries did not want to be beholden to the European Central Bank? Countries would have to break from the bank and issue its own currency. There has even been speculation as to the current value of the former EU currencies if they were still in circulation.
For numismatists it would add new collectibles to the market. Countries that would re-issue its own currencies would likely demonetize the Euro and force locals to trade in their Euro coins and notes for the re-issued currency. This would make the reverse designs that are country specific instantly collectible as well as the new Drachma, Escudo, Pesta, Franc, Lira, or Deutsche Mark that would be issued in its place.
Maybe Great Britain was right for not converting to the Euro. But for now, their newly issued circulating coinage is arguably the most interesting in the Euro zone. Maybe another country will join them an open new areas of collectibles.