Starter kits containing 45 Slovak euro coins sold like "hot cakes" on Monday, according to The Slovak Spectator. Reports say the coin kits sold out at large city banks and post offices within hours as people waited in long lines. That, despite the inability to spend the money until January 1, 2009, when Slovakia officially adopts the euro.
Some 1.2 million total kits worth 500 korunas (€16.6 euros, $21) are up for sale in an attempt to ease the currency switch. EUbusiness said about half were gone by Monday.
"The demand for the euro starter packs was extremely high. We expected high demand, but not to this extent," said Slovak Post Office spokesman Juraj Danielis.
"Many post offices in all Slovak towns ran out of their supplies in 30 minutes. People were waiting in queues since early morning."
Each kit contain five 1 euro-cent coins, the same number of 2-cent and 5-cent coins, six 10-cent coins, eight 20-cent coins, eight 50-cent coins, six €1 coins and two €2 coins.
Slovak euro coin designs
The €1 and €2 coins depict a double cross on three hills, as featured in the national emblem of Slovakia. It is the first time that the Christian crucifix will be included on the side of a euro coin whose design the individual member countries can decide over, although Spain and Portugal have images of famous cathedrals on some of their coins.
The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins show Bratislava castle and the national emblem of Slovakia.
The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins feature the Tatra Mountains’ peak, Kriváň, a symbol of the sovereignty of the Slovak nation, and the national emblem of Slovakia
The euro will be the sixth currency in Slovakia’s history and will replace the Slovak koruna, which was introduced in 1993 when Czechoslovakia split into the two states of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.
Beginning on January 1, people can exchange their money for the new euros. Slovak korunas can be used in transactions until January 16.