-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Vatican Stamps Commemorate Sede Vacante
Coins Also to Be Minted
VATICAN CITY, March 01, 2013 (Zenit.org) - The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City State has issued four stamps with the image of an angel raising the pavilion ("umbraculum") of the Apostolic Camera, the work of Italian artist Daniela Longo. The stamps cost: 0.70 for mail to Italy, with a light green background; 0.85 for mail to Europe, with a blue background; 2.00 for mail to the Americas, with a grey background; and 2.50 for mail to Oceania, on a yellow background.
The use of these stamps as postage is only available during the Sede Vacante, ending with the election of the new Pope. Their philatelic use is allowed afterwards and the office will continue to sell them to collectors. The initial printing is for 230,000 complete series. The folder including all four stamps costs 15.00. There is also a smaller folder that was created on Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the pontificate, which includes two stamps and costs 10.00.
Regarding coins, a 2.00 one commemorating the Sede Vacante will be issued. It is the only one that will be circulated seeing that, according to the European convention with the Vatican City State, only one coin is allowed to be issued per year, with an extra one permitted in the case of a Sede Vacante. There will, therefore, be two coins in 2013: one for the Sede Vacante and the other, to be issued in April, with an image of Benedict XVI.
The Sede Vacante coin, 125,000 of which will be minted, bears the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera.
There will also be 10,000 silver 5.00 coins minted for the Sede Vacante that will have a dove of the Holy Spirit and the words "Veni Sancte Spiritus" on one side and the emblem of the Cardinal camerlengo with the pavilion of the Apostolic Camera and the phrase "Sede Vacante 2013" on the other. Likewise, 5,000 gold 10.00 coins will be minted. This will be a very small coin (13.85mm in size and 3g in weight) and will have the same images and writing as the silver coin.
The 5.00 and 10.00 coins are collectibles and, theoretically, can only be used within the Vatican. They are not legal tender outside of the Vatican.
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