|Value||0.50 1/2 euro|
|Edge||regular, fine indentations, 50 reeds|
|Years of minting||1999–present|
|Design||24 variations, see below.|
|Design||Map of Europe with the denomination shown in Latin characters|
The 50 euro cent coin (€0.50) has a value of half a euro and is composed of an alloy called nordic gold. All euro coins have a common reverse side and country-specific national sides. The coin has been used since 2002, with the present common-side design dating from 2007.
The coin dates from 2001, when euro coins and banknotes were introduced in the 12-member eurozone and its related territories. The common side was designed by Luc Luycx, a Belgian artist who won a Europe-wide competition to design the new coins. The designs of the 10 to 50-cent coins were intended to show separate states of the European Union (EU), as opposed to the one and two-euro coins showing the 15 states as one and the 1 to 5-cent coins showing the EU's place in the world.
The national sides, then 15 (eurozone and Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican who could mint their own), were each designed according to national competitions, though to specifications which applied to all coins such as the requirement of including twelve stars (see euro coins for more). National designs were not allowed to change until the end of 2008, unless a monarch (whose portrait usually appears on the coins) died or abdicated. This happened in Monaco and the Vatican City resulting in three new designs in circulation (the Vatican had an interim design until the new Pope was elected). National designs have seen some changes due to new rules stating that national designs should include the name of the issuing country (Finland and Belgium both do not show their name, and hence have made minor changes).
As the EU's membership has since expanded in 2004 and 2007, with further expansions envisaged, the common faces of all euro coins from the value of 10 cent and above were redesigned in 2007 to show a new map. This map showed Europe, not just the EU, as one continuous landmass; however, Cyprus was moved west as the map cut off after the Bosporus (which was seen as excluding Turkey for political reasons). The redesign in 2007, rather than in 2004, was because 2007 saw the first enlargement of the eurozone: the entry of Slovenia. Hence, the Slovenian design was added to the designs in circulation. Two more designs were added in 2008 with the entry of Cyprus and Malta and another one in 2009 with Slovakia. Four more were added in 2011, 2014, 2015, and 2023, for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Croatia, respectively.
The coins are composed of an alloy called Nordic gold, with a diameter of 24.25 mm, a 2.38 mm thickness and a mass of 7.80 grams. The coins' edges have regular indentations. The coins have been used from 2002, though some are dated 1999 which is the year the euro was created as a currency, but not put into general circulation.
The reverse (used from 2007 onwards) was designed by Luc Luycx and displays a map of Europe on the left. The map does not include Iceland and cuts off on the right through Russia (exactly, at a line from the Kandalaksha Gulf to the Bosphorus (Cyprus is moved westward under Crete in order to include it and Malta is shown as disproportionally large so that it shows up). The map is flat and level with most of the coin and the sea is shown as an indentation. Six fine lines cut through the sea, breaking when passing through the map, and at their ends at the top and bottom are twelve stars (reflective of the flag of Europe). To the right, in raised lettering, is "50 Euro Cent" with the '50' being shown much larger than the words. The designer's initials, LL, appear next to the 0 in 50.
Luc Luycx designed the original coin, which was much the same except the design was only of the then 15 members and shown with gaps between the states and raised rather than with an indented sea.
The obverse side of the coin depends on the issuing country. All have to include twelve stars (in most cases a circle around the edge), the engraver's initials and the year of issue. New designs also have to include the name or initials of the issuing country. The side cannot repeat the denomination of the coin unless the issuing country uses an alphabet other than Latin (currently, Greece is the only such country, hence it engraves "50 ΛΕΠΤΑ" (50 LEPTA) upon its coins). Despite using the Latin alphabet, Austria repeats the denomination on its coins, but in words in the German language.
|State||Details||Years of minting|
|Andorran euro coins||The Church of Santa Coloma d'Andorra||2014 onward|
|Austrian euro coins||The Secession Building within a circle, symbolising the birth of art nouveau and a new age in the country. The denomination, followed by a hatched Austrian flag and the date, appears above but within the circle.||2002 onward|
|Belgian euro coins||FIRST SERIES: An effigy of King Albert II. To the right hand side among the stars was the King's monogram, a letter "A", underneath a crown. The year is lower down, also among the stars.||1999-2007|
|SECOND SERIES: A redesign to include the letters BE (standing for Belgium) beneath the monogram, which was moved out of the stars into the centre circle but still to the right of the King's renewed portrait. The date was also moved out and placed beneath the effigy and included two symbols either side (left: signature mark of the master of the mint, right: mint mark).||2008-2013|
|THIRD SERIES: In 2013, Albert II abdicated with Philippe of Belgium becoming King. He subsequently replaced Albert on Belgian coins.||2014 onward|
|Croatian euro coins||Silhouette portrait of Nikola Tesla encircled by magnetic field lines and a checkerboard in the background.||2023 onward|
|Cypriot euro coins||A Kyrenia ship, a 4th-century BCE trading vessel symbolising the seafaring and trading history of Cyprus. It includes, in a semicircle to the top right, the name of Cyprus in Greek and Turkish (ΚΥΠΡΟΣ and KIBRIS) each side of the date.||2008 onward|
|Estonian euro coins||A geographical image of Estonia and the word “Eesti” (“Estonia”).||2011 onward|
|Finnish euro coins||FIRST SERIES: The heraldic lion of Finland found on the Coat of arms of Finland. It is a reproduction of a design by the sculptor Heikki Häiväoja and has been used by previous Finnish coins such as the 1 markka between 1964 and 2001. The first series included the initial of the mint master of the Mint of Finland, Raimo Makkonen (an M), on the bottom left side of the lion and the date to the left.||1999-2007|
|SECOND SERIES: When the coins were redesign to meet the new design requirements, the initial was replaced by the mint's mint mark and moved to the left, with the letters FI (for Finland) sitting in the bottom right.||2007 onward|
|French euro coins||A sower in a field with a rising sun behind her. The image is taken from the previous one French franc coin designed by Louis Oscar Roty. Oscar Roty's art nouveau design reset the global trend, breaking from traditional static portraits to a full body, strident figure sowing the seeds of good fortune. For the euro coins, Jorio added hatching each side representing the French flag with the year to the left and the letters RF (République française) to the right.||1999 onward|
|German euro coins||The Brandenburg Gate as a symbol of the reunification of Germany and Europe. The year and mint mark is shown at the bottom.||1999 onward|
|Greek euro coins||A portrait of Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936), a major Greek politician and who pioneered social reform, modernisation of Greece and the liberation of northern Greece and the Aegean. His name in Greek is shown to the bottom right of the portrait and to the left is the denomination in Greek with the year.||2001 onward|
|Irish euro coins||The national emblem of Ireland, an Irish harp (the Cláirseach, see Clàrsach). Vertically on the left hand side is the word "Éire" (Ireland in the Irish language) and on the right hand side is the date. The harp motif was designed by Jarlath Hayes.||2002 onward|
|Italian euro coins||A depiction of the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, one of the "Five Good Emperors", in Rome. It includes the interconnected letters IR (Repubblica Italiana), the year is shown to the top right and the mint mark are shown to the bottom right of the statue.||1999 onward|
|Latvian euro coins||The coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia above the word LATVIJA (Latvia).||2014 onward|
|Lithuanian euro coins||The Vytis (symbol of the coat-of-arms) and the word “Lietuva”, which means “Lithuania”. The twelve stars, symbols of the EU, surrounds the Vytis.||2015 onward|
|Luxembourgish euro coins||A stylised effigy of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. The name Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg in Luxembourgish) and the year is written round the outer left side of the coin.||1999 onward|
|Maltese euro coins||The Coat of arms of Malta, which includes the Maltese flag and a mural crown of fortifications symbolising a city state. Shield of the arms is bound by an olive branch and a palm branch as Maltese symbols of peace, tied at their base by a ribbon reading “Repubblika ta’ Malta” (Republic of Malta). The name Malta sits round the upper left inner edge and the year in a similar fashion on the right.||2008 onward|
|Monégasque euro coins||FIRST SERIES: The seal of Monaco with the name MONACO was written across the top of the coin's outer circle and the year across the bottom of the outer circle with the mint marks.||2004-2006|
|SECOND SERIES: Upon the death of Prince Rainier III in 2005, and the accession of Prince Albert II the seal was replaced with the monogram of Prince Albert II and the name Monaco and the year were brought within the inner circle.||2006 onward|
|Dutch euro coins||FIRST SERIES: A stylised profile of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands surrounded by the twelve stars and other dots, with the inscription “Beatrix Queen of The Netherlands” in Dutch around the edge. The date and mint marks are located at the bottom.||1999-2013|
|SECOND SERIES: Following the accession to the throne of King Willem-Alexander, a new series of euro coins was issued depicting the effigy of the new Dutch King.||2014 onward|
|Portuguese euro coins||The royal seal of 1142 surrounded by the country's castles and five escutcheona with silver bezants set in relation to the surrounding European stars which is supposed to symbolise dialogue, exchange of values and dynamics in the building of Europe. Between the castles are the numbers of the year towards the bottom and the letters of the name Portugal between the upper icons. The stars are inset on a ridge.||1999 onward|
|Sammarinese euro coins||FIRST SERIES: The Three Towers of San Marino: La Guaita, La Cesta, Il Montale. In a semicircle over the towers is the date, the words San Marino and the mint marks.||2012-2017|
|SECOND SERIES: A portrait of Saint Marino from a detail of a painting by Emilio Retrosi.||2018 onward|
|Slovak euro coins||Bratislava Castle, with the national emblem in the bottom left of the picture. Below the image is the date and curving just above the circling stars is the name SLOVENSKO (Slovakia).||2009 onward|
|Slovenian euro coins||Triglav mountain below the constellation of Cancer (Slovenia achieved independence under the zodiac sign of Cancer). In a semicircle above that are two lines of text, the outer one reading SLOVENIJA (Slovenia) between the twelve stars and the inner one reading "Oj Triglav moj dom" (O Triglav, My Home) from the patriotic song by Jakob Aljaž, a Slovene priest, composer and mountaineer.||2007 onward|
|Spanish euro coins||FIRST SERIES: An effigy of Miguel de Cervantes, the father of Spanish literature. His name and a quill is shown to the left, the name España (Spain) above it and the mint mark below. The date is shown at the bottom of the coin. The top right four stars are indented on a raised area, inverting the effect of the rest of the coin.||1999-2009|
|SECOND SERIES: In 2010 the raised area around the stars was removed.||2010 onward|
|Vatican euro coins||FIRST SERIES: An effigy of Pope John Paul II. The name CITTA DEL VATICANO (Vatican City), followed by the year and mint mark, was written in a break between the stars below.||2000-2005|
|SECOND SERIES: Following the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, a new coin was issued during the Sede vacante until a new Pope was chosen. This contained the insignia of the Apostolic Chamber and the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain.||2005-2006|
|THIRD SERIES: When Pope Benedict XVI was elected, his effigy appeared on the coins, with the name of the city now broken to his top right with the year and mint mark in the middle to his right.||2006-2013|
|FOURTH SERIES: In 2014, the coins were updated with the election of Pope Francis. CITTA DEL VATICANO is written around the top, broken by Pope Francis' head, with the date below the O in Vaticano.||2014-2016|
|FIFTH SERIES: After the announcement that Pope Francis would not appear on any coins issued by the Vatican City, a new series of euro coins were issued to depict the papal coat of arms of Pope Francis.||2017 onward|
See also: Enlargement of the eurozone
Austria, Germany and Greece will also at some point need to update their designs to comply with guidelines stating they must include the issuing state's name or initial, and not repeat the denomination of the coin.
In addition, there are several EU states that have not yet adopted the euro, some of them have already agreed upon their coin designs however it is not yet known exactly when they will adopt the currency, and hence these are not yet minted. See enlargement of the Eurozone for expected entry dates of these countries.