Obverse. Photo © CoinDatabase.com
  • 2 Euro 2005, KM# 372, Vatican City
  • 2 Euro 2005, KM# 372, Vatican City

Sede vacante in the canon law of the Catholic Church is the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church and especially that of the papacy. It is Latin for "[with] the seat being vacant", the seat in question being the bishop's throne of the particular church.

After the death or resignation of a pope, the Holy See enters a period of sede vacante. In this case the particular church is the Diocese of Rome and the "vacant seat" is the cathedra of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome. During this period, the Holy See is administered by a regency of the College of Cardinals.


Depicts the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain Eduardo Martinez Somalo (surmounted by the crossed keys, and the galero with fifteen tassels on each side), the interim Head of the State of Vatican City, superimposed on the emblem of the Apostolic Chamber, is surrounded with the inscription "SEDE VACANTE" (the seat being vacant), the date in Roman numerals "MMV" (2005), the inscription "CITTA' DEL VATICANO" (Vatican City) and the twelve stars of Europe.

In ecclesiastical heraldry, papal coats of arms (those of individual popes) and those of the Holy See and Vatican City State include an image of crossed keys to represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the keys of heaven, or the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, that, according to Roman Catholic teaching, Jesus promised to Saint Peter, empowering him to take binding actions. The keys of heaven or keys of Saint Peter are seen as a symbol of papal authority.

A galero is a broad-brimmed hat with tasselated strings worn by clergy in the Catholic Church. Over the centuries, the red galero was restricted to use by individual cardinals while such other colors as green and violet were reserved to clergy of other ranks and styles.

Artist: Daniela Longo
Engraver: Maria Carmela Colaneri (MCC INC.)



A geographical map of Western Europe spans the outer ring and inner core on the right side of the coin. The inscription 2 EURO is superimposed over the map of Europe, with the numeral “2” located in an open field representing the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

12 stars are located on the right side of the outer ring, with six stars atop the map of Europe and six stars below it; six vertical stripes cut across the inner core of the coin, visually connecting the upper and lower star segments.

Luc Luycx, a designer at the Royal Belgian Mint, designed the Euro’s common reverse; his initials, LL, are seen on the right side of the design, just under the “O” in “EURO.”



The sequence "2 ★" repeated six times alternately upright and inverted.

2 ★ 2 ★ 2 ★ 2 ★ 2 ★ 2 ★

2 Euro

Sede Vacante
KM# 372 Schön# 371
Material Bi-Metallic
Ring Cupronickel
Center Nickel Brass
Weight 8.5 g
Diameter 25.75 mm
Thickness 2.2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute (R)

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