Pillar Of The Community
Andorra is a micro-state of Europe, sandwiched between France and Spain. Population is just 85,000, and the country boasts one of the strangest systems of government in the world. Andorra has two "co-princes": the current Bishop of Urgell, and the French Head of State. In the past, this was the French King, but nowadays, it is the French President: making François Hollande the only democratically elected monarch in the world! Since the Bishop obviously cannot have children, this makes both co-principal positions non-hereditary. Here's Andorra in Europe:
So, the interesting part (to us): Andorra has previously issued coins of a "commemorative currency", the Andorran diner (which had an unofficial exchange rate, but could neither be converted nor spent, making it somewhat similar to Order of Malta coins), but in reality, the French franc and Spanish peseta were both used in the principality until Euro introduction. Andorra is not an E.U. member, but like Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City, arrangements are being made to allow it to mint its own Euro coins, starting in 2014:
* this image has been updated
However... Euro coins from Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City are mostly issued in sets, with only small amounts being actually placed in circulation! Coins from these three tiny nations are very rarely found in change, like impaired proofs in the United States. So Andorra is setting itself apart by ensuring that Andorran Euro coins actually circulate, making them accessible to everyone.
How? This article is Spanish, so I'll have to take someone's word for it:
An announcement of measures to minimize the speculation about the new series of euro coins. In addition to the circulating at least 80% of the coins, the Andorran government has decided to distribute all of these coins in rolls with French and Spanish coins. In doing so, no roll containing only Andorran coins will be available. These coins will be issued the earliest in March.
I think they are doing a service to us collectors by making sure Andorra's currency is actually used within the country, and I hope they stay in circulation for a long time (except for the ones I plan to hunt down next time I am in Europe!)