Photo credit: © papilio (CC BY-NC)

Why Croatia minted an official coin featuring an unborn baby

The year 2000 was a new beginning for the world in many ways, ringing in not only a new year, but a new century and millennium.

To mark this rare and powerful occasion, many states minted commemorative coins to welcome a new era and new chapter for their country’s history.

For example, in 2000, before the adoption of the euro, Ireland minted a £1 punt coin featuring a boat with long oars and two stars in the sky.

According to the Taoiseach at the time, the two stars represented each millennium, and our ability to navigate the coming chapter of history as a people.

Additionally, the mast of the cross was reportedly deliberately made to look like a cross, to commemorate the country’s Christian roots.

The design was reportedly based on the Broighter Boat – a miniature golden boat dating back to around 100 BC. It was found in Derry in 1896 by two men who had been ploughing a field, and is deemed by many to be one of the most insightful artefacts from Iron Age Ireland.

As such, this coin was meant to represent and express the essence of Irish culture, and set the tone for the centuries to come.

Many other countries minted similar coins – however, one in particular stood out as peculiar.

Croatia’s national currency is the Kuna, and to celebrate the new millennium, the Croatian state minted a commemorative 25 Kuna coin featuring an image of an unborn baby surrounded by rays of light.

This universal symbol of human life was meant to represent a new beginning for the nation of Croatia, and the dawn of a new, hopefully better era.

This made Croatia the only country in the world the feature an unborn baby on an official coin, and these coins can still be purchased on eBay for around €20 as collector’s items to this day.



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