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 CNS Story:

SEDEVACANTE-COINS Feb-26-2013 (230 words) xxxi

Vatican will soon issue special stamps, coins marking 'sede vacante'

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican will be issuing special-edition stamps and minting special coins marking the upcoming "sede vacante," the period when the see of Rome is vacant before the election of a new pope.

The stamps will be marked with the "sede vacante" symbol, which is a special striped umbrella extended over a pair of crossed keys, as well as be printed with the words, "Sede Vacante," "Citta del Vaticano" (Vatican City), and the year in Roman numerals.

They will be issued March 1 in four denominations of 70 and 85 eurocents, 2 and 2.50 euros.

Collectors will have to wait longer for the coins, however, which may be out as late as May, said an official at the Vatican's stamp and coin office.

A 2 euro coin and a silver 5 euro commemorative coin will be issued for sale, while a portion of the 2 euro coins will be put into general circulation.

The "sede vacante" coins will have the denomination on one side and the "sede vacante" symbol on the other.

The coin issue takes longer because Vatican coins are produced by the Italian mint and work is backlogged, the official said. Even the plaster mold of the designs still has to be made, he added.

The last of the Pope Benedict XVI coins, which bear the portrait of the pope, will be issued end of March.

END


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