Asterix turns 60 this year! To commemorate this there’s going to be a new film, a new comic and a new coin! The Monnaie de Paris has minted a new Asterix two-Euro coin featuring the face of Asterix, one of the best-selling comic book characters known worldwide, as drawn by his co-creator Albert Uderzo. This is a rare example of an established comic book character featuring on official European currency.
The series first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959. It was written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo until the death of Goscinny in 1977. Uderzo then took over the writing until 2009, when he sold the rights to publishing company Hachette. In 2013, a new team consisting of Jean-Yves Ferri (script) and Didier Conrad (artwork) took over. As of 2017, 37 volumes have been released, with a 38th announced for release in late 2019.
The Asterix series is one of the most popular Franco-Belgian comics in the world, with the series being translated into 111 languages and dialects as of 2009.
The success of the series has led to the adaptation of its books into 13 films: nine animated, and four live action (one of which, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra, was a major box office success in France). There have also been a number of games based on the characters, and a theme park near Paris, Parc Astérix. The very first French satellite, Astérix, launched in 1965, was also named after the comics character. As of 2017, 370 million copies of Asterix books have been sold worldwide, with co-creators René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo being France’s best-selling authors abroad.
The commemorative €2 coin dedicated to Asterix will be minted only for collectors, up to 300,000 coins for the BU version in three different coincards, plus 10,000 coins for the proof version.
This very low mintage for a commemorative €2 coin is the result of the European Commission and the European Central Bank recommendations. To their point of view, circulation and commemorative €2 coins should be put into circulation as soon as possible, just after after the strike, in order to avoid the accumulation of large stocks of new coins, as in the past.
Since the french Mint still has a significant stock of 2 euro circulation coins from previous years, it was therefore decided to mint 2019 commemorative coin in BU and proof condition, only for collectors market.