2 euro Belgium 2006, Renovation of the Atomium in Brussels

Belgian commemorative 2 euro coins 2006 - Atomium

Commemorative 2 euro coins from Belgium

Description: The coin shows the Atomium in the centre part, with the mint marks to the lower right and left of it. The designer's initials (LL) are to the left. The letter B for Belgium is written at the top of the outer ring, and the year mark at the bottom; the twelve stars of the European Union are positioned between the year mark and the inscription at the top, in two groups of six stars each.

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: 5 million coins
Date of issue:   10 April 2006
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)

Design: Luc Luycx is credited as the engraver for the Belgian 2006 €2 Euro Commemorative coin.
Designer/ Engraver Inscriptions: Stylized initials of the engraver: 'LL'
€2 Edge Inscription: The Belgian €2 coin edge inscription is '2', followed by two stars, repeated six times alternately upright and inverted:
Mint Location: Monnaie Royale de Belgique/Koninklijke Munt van België (Royal Mint of Belgium), in Brussels, Belgium
Mint Marks: Mintmark of the Royal Mint of Belgium: the head of Archangel Michael with a cross on top. Located above the bottom left star, inner circle.
Mint Master Marks: Belgian Royal Mint director, Romain Coenen: scale. Located above the bottom right star, inner circle.
National Identification: Letter: 'B'; Belgium.
Notes: This is the first Belgian Euro coin bearing a national identification.

The Atomium is a building in Brussels originally constructed for Expo '58, the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m (335 ft) tall. Its nine 18 m (59 ft) diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Tubes connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the centre. They enclose escalators and a lift to allow access to the five habitable spheres which contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere provides a panoramic view of Brussels. CNN named it Europe's most bizarre building.

Renovation of the Atomium began in March 2004; it was closed to the public in October, and remained closed until February 18, 2006. The renovations included replacing the faded aluminium sheets on the spheres with stainless steel. To help pay for renovations, the old aluminium was sold to the public as souvenirs. A triangular piece about 2 m long sold for €1,000.
Three of the four uppermost spheres lack vertical support and hence are not open to the public for safety reasons, although the sphere at the pinnacle is open to the public. The original design called for no supports; the structure was simply to rest on the spheres. Wind tunnel tests proved that the structure would have toppled in an 80 km/h wind (140 km/h winds have been recorded in Belgium). Support columns were added to achieve enough resistance against overturning.