Almost half of the coins issued by the central bank in the second quarter were one and two-cent coins

Autori Martti Näksi pilt

Martti Näksi

Head of the Cash Handling Division



Eesti Pank issued 7.3 million coins with a total value of 3.1 million euros into circulation in the second quarter. Compared to the first quarter, the amount of circulation coins grew by 55%. An increase in demand for coins in the second quarter was expected, since more coins are needed due to the many concerts, fairs, trade shows and other summer events. The coins issued most (3.5 million coins) were one and two-cent ones, which made up as much as 48% of all the issued coins. The share has been relatively large throughout the years.

The high volume of issue of one and two-cent coins stems from the fact that people receive these coins as change from shops, but rarely spend them themselves because of their low nominal value, and the coins generally do not return to circulation. At the same time, the production and handling costs as well as the environmental impact of such coins are disproportionately large compared to their role in the cash cycle. This has led Eesti Pank to propose the introduction of rounding rules, according to which only cash payments and only the final total price would be rounded up or down to the nearest five cents.

Circulation coins with a total value of 1.5 million euros were returned to Eesti Pank in the second quarter. This is 42% less than in the first quarter. Among them, there were 300,000 one and two-cent coins.


In the second quarter of this year, Eesti Pank issued 9.2 million banknotes into circulation with a total value of 306 million euros. Year-on-year, the number of banknotes issued increased by 26% and they were issued in a 13% higher value. Half of those banknotes were 50-euro notes.

There were 6.5 million banknotes with a total value of 241 million euros returned to Eesti Pank. The sorting process saw the destruction of 1.7 million notes that were unfit for circulation, and the rest were returned to circulation.

Cash was withdrawn from the ATMs on 6.4 million occasions, for a total value of 997 million euros. The amount of cash withdrawn from ATMs has increased by some 13% compared to the first quarter. Cash deposits of 535.7 million euros were made in the second quarter, which is 10% more than in the previous quarter.

There are currently 668 ATMs in Estonia, of which 255 accept cash depositing. Alongside the ATMs, cash transactions can also be made in 20 bank offices. It is possible to transfer coins to one’s bank account via coin machines in 10 locations across Estonia.

There are some 800 shop tills across Estonia from which cooperation between the banks and points of sale allows cash to be withdrawn. See also Where else can I withdraw cash?

Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash

Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 175 cash exchange transactions with kroons in the second quarter of the year at a value of 29,700 euros. There are still an estimated 28.4 million kroon banknotes, worth 37.1 million euros, and 319.7 million coins, worth 6.7 million euros, that have not been returned from circulation, making a total value of 43.8 million euros. Interest in exchanging kroons has been very low in recent years. A part of the cash in kroons has been permanently lost or destroyed over time.

Eesti Pank expert analysis of cash

Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis of cash was carried out 45 times in the second quarter as 5,778 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes where appropriate. Banknotes are exchanged when more than half of them remains. Damaged banknotes are removed from circulation and are destroyed.

The Estonian Forensic Science Institute registered 62 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the second quarter of 2023, the majority of which were 10 and 50-euro notes. There were also 31 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter. Compared to other euro area countries, Estonia has the lowest number of detected counterfeits.

  • Estonian kroon banknotes and coins can be exchanged for euros at the shop of the Eesti Pank Museum during its opening hours from Tuesdays to Fridays 12.00-17.00 and Saturdays 11.00-16.00, tel 668 0650.
  • Damaged banknotes can be submitted for expert analysis by contacting the Eesti Pank museum shop.