All denominations of the first series, issued between 2002 and 2005, show the effigy of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005.
During the interregnum period, before the nomination of his successor, a second series known as ‘sede vacante’ was issued, showing the coat of arms of the Cardinal Chamberlain, the interim Head of State.
The third series of Vatican euro coins was first issued in April 2006, and features the portrait of the former Head of State, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. As of 2014 the fourth series of the Vatican euro coins features the portrait of the new Head of State, His Holiness Pope Francis.
The fifth series, to be issued as of March 2017, shows the coat of arms of the Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Pope Francis on all denominations.
In all series, the edge lettering on the €2 coin is ‘2*’, repeated six times, alternately upright and inverted."