The controversial Croatian 1 Euro coin with the marten design (Image courtesy of the Croatian National Bank)

This week’s entertaining news comes from Croatia, where their proposed euro coins have been under attack for misappropriation and plagiarism.

Although Croatia became a member of the European Union in 2013, the country that used to be part of Yugoslavia became eligible to become a member of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) II and must convert to the euro by January 1, 2023.

Croatia is getting ready by updating its minting processes to produce euro coins. The process includes a nationwide contest to create new designs for the side of the euro coins they can customize.

Croatia 50 euro cent design featuring Nikola Tesla (Image courtesy of the Croatian National Bank)

First, the Croats upset Serbia by selecting Nikola Tesla to feature on the 50-cent coin. Tesla, the inventor of alternating current (AC) electricity transmission, is ethnically a Serb buried in Belgrade, Serbia. Throughout his life, Tesla identified himself as Serbian. However, he was born in 1856 in the village of Smiljan, which is part of Croatia today. Serbia does not believe that Tesla should be on a Croatian coin. Croatia disagrees, and the design will stay.

This past week, Croatia introduced the design of the 1 euro coin featuring an image of a Pine Marten that may have been copied from a photograph. The marten is a weasel-like animal that lives in many northern climates, including the two species that live in North America. Its prevalence in Croatia led to its selection during the design competition.

However, it appears that the marten image is a “copy” of a photograph by Scottish photographer Iain H. Leach. Leach was told about the design by others who claimed plagiarism. One user on Twitter posted a video comparing the two images by overlapping the designs.

Play the following clip and you decide.

According to one report, a search for “side view marten” will return Leach’s image as one of the first few results fueling the plagiarism charges. Since Google searches use many customizing factors, the only way to force a search to return Leach’s image was to search for “side view marten leach.”

If the artist copied Leach’s photograph, the design would violate his copyright. The Croatian National Bank decided to not use the design.

And now the news…

 February 7, 2022
Six treasure finds dating from the Bronze Age to post-medieval periods were declared treasure on Friday by John Gittins coroner for North Wales east and central. The objects were all discovered by metal detectorists and include a Bronze Age hoard, three medieval coin groups, a post-medieval bodkin and seal matrix.  → Read more at

 February 7, 2022
It is time to retire the penny from circulation. All of them. In this expensive modern age we no longer have a need for something as worthless as a penny. They are expensive to mint, a waste of time for everyone using them, bad at being money and get less valuable every single year. I hope by the end of this column you will be, at the very least, sympathetic to the idea of letting the penny go and relinquishing it to history books and coin collections.  → Read more at

 February 8, 2022
The extremely rare Edward VIII penny was never even officially released (Image: Wire) A rare coin marking the reign of King Edward VIII has been valued at a whopping £200,000.  → Read more at

 February 8, 2022
The euro has not even been introduced in Croatia yet, but the single currency is already causing the second scandal.  → Read more at
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