In 1996, Sandro Sassoli had the brilliant idea that the “Ecu”, as the Euro was then known, was not the only opportunity for linking different countries together. Dr. Sassoli is an Italian journalist with a number of high-profile projects to his name. He worked on the ITALIA 90 World Cup campaign, promoting a range of products tied to the official mascot and logo, and inventing the Platinum Ball Trophy. As Chief of Special Programs, he developed a “Year 2000 Medals” project on behalf of the Italian State Mint. He was also responsible for the “Gold Books” program, which featured pages in real gold, and official celebrations to mark the end of the Italian Lira (The Last Day of the Lira at Rome’s Trevi fountain, and the Monument to the Lira, made by real coins).
Against this professional background, Dr. Sassoli believed that another new currency could be possible in the wake of the new European single currency. Giving the new future currency the draft name “Eurodollar”, Dr. Sassoli believed that the Eurodollar was a natural consequence of the historical ties between Europe and the United States. A centuries-old relationship formed by common roots, views and goals and a similar melting pot of different races.
An ideal Manifesto for the program, comprising 10 articles, was drafted in Brussels in 1996. This document has been modified since then, and is now definitive.
As Head of Special Projects for the Italian State Mint and Printing Bureau, in 1997-98 Dr. Sassoli came up with the idea of a new project for 2000, entitled “Gold for the Third Millennium – The world united by the wings of peace”. The project involved the joint efforts of the Italian State Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Cape Mint of South Africa, the Casa de Moneda (Mexico), and the Perth Mint Australia. This would later be considered as a prelude to the UFWC (United Future World Currency) project.
A number of Eurodollar samples were created. In 2000, Dr. Sassoli registered the Eurodollar trademark and embarked upon a project for the coin. The coin design featured the DNA helix, mixing the symbols of the US Dollar and Euro. This was followed by other samples and projects over the years…
This year, Dr. Sassoli asked Luc Luycx (creator of the uniform side of the Euro coin, from the Royal Belgium Mint) and Laura Cretara, chief engraver of Italian State Mint who created the “500 Lire” dual-metallic coins and the Italian side of the 1 Euro coin (Leonardo’s Vitruvian man), to begin work on a new design for an international currency program.
In addition, Dr. Sassoli asked Rome University’s Engineering Dept. to study the potential for a new coin with a high level of protection against counterfeits. In short, an “intelligent coin” that can communicate with mobile phones, give and receive inputs and be recognized as fake or authentic.
The path we have embarked upon is long, and we have only just started. The future of this project, and its benefits, remain unpredictable.
Nonetheless, there is great hope and expectation that truly, one day not too far from now, even if only partially at first, the world really can be “United by a Coin”.