Luxembourgish commemorative 2 euro coins - The 175th anniversary of the independence of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg
Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)
Issuing volume: 510,000 coins
Date of issue: 6 January 2014
Face value: 2 euro
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.5 gr
Composition: BiAlloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupronickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass (75% copper - 20% zinc - 5% nickel)
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands. The Congress of Vienna gave formal autonomy to Luxembourg and formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation in personal union with the Netherlands, being at the same time a part of the Netherlands and ruled as one of its provinces, with a Confederate fortress manned by Prussian troops. The Prussians had already in 1813 managed to wrest lands from Luxembourg, to strengthen the Prussian-possessed Duchy of Julich. The Bourbons of France held a strong claim to Luxembourg, the Emperor of Austria on the other hand had controlled the duchy until the revolutionary forces had joined it to the French republic (he reportedly was not enthusiastic about regaining Luxembourg and the Low Countries, being more interested in the Balkans).
The King of Prussia held the claim of the senior heiress, Anna. An additional claimant emerged, William I of the Netherlands who now ruled the Netherlands, and whose mother and wife were descendants of the Prussian royal family and thus also descendants of both daughters of the last Luxembourg heiress. Prussia and Orange-Nassau made the following exchange deal: Prussia received the Principality of Orange-Nassau, which included the ancestral lands of Nassau in Central Germany; the Prince of Orange in turn received Luxembourg.
Luxembourg, somewhat diminished in size (as the medieval lands had been slightly reduced by the French and Prussian heirs), was augmented in another way through the elevation to the status of grand duchy and placed under the rule of William I of the Netherlands. This was the first time that the duchy had a monarch who had no claim to inheritance of the medieval patrimony (as lineages through his mother and wife had a better entitled claimant, the Prussian king himself). However, Luxembourg's military value to Prussia prevented it from becoming a part of the Dutch kingdom. The fortress, ancestral seat of the medieval Luxembourgers, was taken over by Prussian forces, following Napoleon's defeat, and Luxembourg became a member of the German Confederation with Prussia responsible for its defense.
Much of the Luxembourgish population joined the Belgian revolution against Dutch rule. Except for the fortress and its immediate vicinity Luxembourg was considered a province of the new Belgian state from 1830 to 1839. By the Treaty of London in 1839 the status of the grand duchy was confirmed as sovereign and in personal union to the king of the Netherlands. In turn, the predominantly French speaking part of the duchy was ceded to Belgium as the province de Luxembourg.
This loss left the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg a predominantly German state, although French cultural influence remained strong. The loss of Belgian markets also caused painful economic problems for the state. Recognizing this, the grand duke integrated it into the German Zollverein in 1842. Nevertheless, Luxembourg remained an underdeveloped agrarian country for most of the century. As a result of this about one in five of the inhabitants emigrated to the United States between 1841 and 1891.