• 1.29.14

    Erwin Olaf Designs King Willem-Alexander Euro

    The Royal Dutch Mint welcomed King Willem-Alexander, Finance Minister Frans Weekers, and Erwin Olaf last week as it started production on euros designed by the B&A photographer.

    Each coin features Olaf's portrait of the royal with added texture "based on the parceled Dutch landscape and also symbolizing the diversity of the population of our country at the present time," said the mint; its director Maarten Brouwer called the currency "a wonderful bridge to the Netherlands and its contemporary art ... the details and facets that Olaf has included in the profile of the king are difficult to display on a small metallic object and we are proud. It illustrates what we can do as a modern facility."

    The smaller currency is already in circulation – the king switched on the 50-cent press himself, according to Coin Update – and new 1 and 2 euros are available for collectors.

    Olaf was selected to create the King Willem-Alexander euros in October, several months after Queen Beatrix, his mother, abdicated the throne. This builds on the photographer's relationship with the Dutch royal family – he made a series of portraits of then-Princess, now-Queen Máxima in 2011.

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