TALLINN 's Estonia unveiled its euro coins on Wednesday, which will feature a silhouette of the country. This was the design that garnered the most public support in a poll conducted Dec 4 's 11.
Initially a panel of experts selected 10 designs out of 134 submitted by October, and then the public was given the opportunity to vote for their favorite by phone.
The winning design gathered 12,482 votes out of a total 45,453, or over 4,000 votes more than the closest runners up.
Created by Lembit Lohmus, the coin design depicts the contour of the Estonian map and a word "Eesti" on all denominations 's from 1 cent to the 2-euro coin.
Lohmus, 57, a graphic artist graduated from the Tartu Art School, has created numerous stamp designs for five countries and currently works at Eesti Post, the national postal service. He will receive a little over 3,100 euros as a reward for the design, while the rest of the top 10 will receive about 1,200 euros.
"I thought that the front and the back side of the coin could be connected. I tried to fix the fault that there was no Estonia visible on the back side of the coin [that remains standard for all the countries]," said Lohmus describing his creative project.
"I consider the contour of Estonia to be expressive enough [to be on a coin]. Symbols of Tallinn only are not related to everybody in Estonia," he added.
The decision to choose the country's new currency design by public voting is said to be original as mostly the central banks choose the best suitable design.
According to the Bank of Estonia, the country will likely switch to the new currency in January 2007 and will have to be fully prepared for the change in 2006.
European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia who was present at the announcement of the Estonian euro coin design, said that Estonia would likely be among the first new member states to switch to the euro, if not the first.