The Age of Iron and Glass in Greece coincides with the first decades of state-building after Greece’s independence in 1830. An iconic literary figure of the time was Greece’s national poet, Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857), whose work immortalised the Greek nation’s struggle for liberty. The late 19th century was marked by the first major engineering projects in Greece, including, most prominently, the opening of the Corinth Canal, inaugurated in 1893, and the construction of the iron bridge spanning it and connecting the Peloponnese with the Greek mainland, both remarkable feats of engineering in their day. Another landmark event was the revival of the Olympic Games and the holding of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, symbolised by the Bréal cup awarded to the Greek Spyros Louis, winner of the marathon race.
2017 saw the participation of nine countries: France, Spain, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Malta and Greece, with Greece participating for the first time. Other mints from the euro area were welcome to join the programme every year.
The reverse of the coin features the name of the issuing country and the national emblem or some other indication of national identity, against a common background for all countries. The design on the obverse, which was left to the issuing country to choose, combines a portrait, a building and an object from the respective period. The technical specifications of the coin (silver fineness, weight, diameter, etc.) could also be chosen by the issuing country.