Search This Blog

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Did you know Series (25): The prestigious Krause Publications Annual World Coin Competition: The Winners of the 2015 “Coin Of The Year” (COTY) Award and the 10 sub-categories:

Did you know Series (25): The prestigious Krause Publications Annual World Coin Competition:

The Winners of the 2015 “Coin Of The Year” (COTY) Award & the 10 sub-categories:

Every year, since 1984, Krause Publications holds a competition for “Coin of the Year” Awards in which there are 10 sub-categories (Best Gold Coin, Best Bimetallic Coin, Most Artistic Coin, Most Historically Significant Coin, Best Contemporary Event Coin, Best Silver Coin, Most Innovative Coin, Most Inspirational Coin, Best Crown, Best Circulating Coin) apart from the overall “Coin Of The Year” (COTY).

The coins nominated for the Competition should have elegant and diverse styles, themes and technology used by mints from across the Globe.

This year, i.e. in 2014, coins issued in 2013 or the year’s equivalent in other calendars were eligible to be nominated for the competition.

The recently concluded Competition saw 94 elegant coins being nominated from 45 different countries which were all issued in 2013. Out of the ten categories, Austrian Mint coins won best coin in three categories - Most Artistic Coin Category (Austrian Mint – 2013 “Wildlife in Our Sights” Red Deer 100 Euro Gold Coin – KM No. 3225), Best Bimetallic Coin Category (Austria – 2013 Tunnelling – KM 321) Silver & Niobium 25 Euro Coin, and Best Gold Coin (Austria – 2013 “Klimt and His Women –  The Expectation” 50 Euro Gold Coin – KM 3218).

The 50 Euro Gold coin “Klimt and his Women – The Expectation” (Standard Catalogue of World coins no. KM -3218) went on to win the overall winner category and be declared the “2015 Coin Of The Year” (COTY), through an additional round of judging by an International panel of Judges in a voting round which concluded on 06.12.14.

“2015 Coin of the Year” (COTY) category – overall winner of the Competition:

Also, Best Gold Coin Category Winner:

Austria 2013 – 50 Euro gold coin featuring “Klimt and his women – the Expectation”

To celebrate/commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Viennese master’s birth in 1862, the Austrian Mint from 2012 onwards is bringing out a five coin Series titled “Klimt and his Women”. From classical and allegorical to erotic, mythological or biblical and portraits, Klimt portrayed female beauty like few other painters could. His name is synonymous with the representation of the female form in its various aspects.

In keeping with Klimt’s “Golden Phase”, the Austrian Mint is bringing out these commemorative coins in gold, each depicting a different painting of a woman from that phase.

Each of the five coins bears one letter from Klimt’s name i.e. K, L, I, M or T, so that the entire series will all together spell “KLIMT”.

Few painters have succeeded in portraying the female form with such aplomb as Gustav Klimt. A case in point is “The Expectation”, (which features in the second coin of this Series issued in 2013) which depicts a lady waiting in all her finery,  and the Tree of Life.

This painting is clearly inspired by Egyptian Art and is a fine example of how Klimt found inspiration in the past yet succeeded in creating a work of Art which is completely modern and original. It also exemplify Klimt’s trademark swirling decorative designs.

On the Reverse of this coin is featured the face of the woman in Klimt’s painting, facing right.

Similarly, on the obverse of this coin, the Tree of Life is a beautiful design and both pictures are mosaics from Klimt’s famous Frieze            seen on the walls of the “Palais Stoclet” in Brussels. This painting was commissioned by a wealthy Belgian family who owned the Palais. Work on the Stoclet Frieze was actually undertaken by the “Wiener Werkstatte”, the path-breaking Viennese modernist workshop of visual artists.

This being the second coin in the Series, the second letter in the spelling of Klimt’s name i.e. the letter “L” features towards the left hand bottom to mark the start of the Series.

These coins are minted in Proof quality, with a maximum mintage of 30,000.
(For more on Klimt & his women Series of coins please click on the following link: Klimt & his Women 50 Euro Gold Coin Series

Most Artistic Coin Category winner:

Austrian Mint – 2013 “Wildlife in Our Sights” Red Deer 100 Euro Gold Coin

The Austrian Mint has planned to issue a total of six different coins each featuring one of Europe’s most recognisable wild animals/native wildlife on the obverse and their native habitat on the Reverse, in its 100 Euro Gold coin series “Wildlife in our Sights” with the Series commencing in 2013.

The first coin minted in this Series depicts the “Red Deer” (“Cervus elaphus”) which is also known as the “Monarch of the Glen” because of its majestic and magnificent antlers.
 On the Obverse of this coin is shown an alpha male stag in its habitat barking/giving a mating call during the mating season. His call is intended to intimidate and throw off rival stags. The lower side of this coin has an ornate design which is positioned to give the entire Series a distinctive character. On the upper periphery is mentioned “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” (meaning “Republic of Austria”) and the denomination of the coin is mentioned on the right hand side “100 EURO”.

On the Reverse of this coin is shown a Stag standing guard over his family of a doe and a fawn in dense woodland. The image also has a water-body, wildflowers, trees and a frog and an otter depicting the Red Deer’s habitat.

The specifications of this coin are:

Metal Composition: 98.6% gold; Diameter: 30 mm; Weight: 16.23 gms; Coin Quality: Proof; Mintage: 30000.

Best Bimetallic Coin Category winner:

Austria – 2013 25 Euro Coin Silver & Niobium Tunnelling

These innovative Bimetallic Coin Series issued for the first time in 2003 have a metal composition of an outer silver ring and an inner variously Niobium core. The series explores a wide range of technological themes and has a wide array of colours and intricate designs. The colours are injected into the Niobium core through an intricate process of anodised oxidiation which imparts different colours to the coins.
 On the Obverse of this coin, is depicted a present day tunnel boring machine positioned within the ice-blue Niobium core. Three arrows show the rotating motion of the machine. The outer silver ring shows the mountains which the machine is making a tunnel in. Also mentioned on this face is the denomination of the coin “25 EURO” and the year of issue o the left and the country’s name “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” (meaning “Republic of Austria”).

On the reverse of this coin is depicted a road tunnel within Austria’s Alpine landscape. On the right periphery of the outer silver ring is shown an image of a worker using a drill to loosen rock. On the lower periphery is inscribed the word “TUNNELBAU” (meaning “Tunnel Construction”

The specifications of the coin are:

Face value: 25 Euros; Metallic composition: Outer ring: Silver (Ag) 900 – 9 gms, Niobium 998 – 6.50 gms; Diameter: 34 mm; Weight: 16.50 gms; Edge: smooth.

The mintage of this coin was limited to a maximum of 65000 pieces.

The following coins have been issued in this Series:

2003 – 700 years old Hall City in Tyrol or Tirol

2004 – 150 years Semmering Alpine Railway

2005 – 50 years of Television

2006 – The European Satellite Navigation

2007 – Austrian Aviators

2008 – Fascinating Light

2009 – Year of Astronomy

2010 – Renewable Energy Sources

2011 – Robotics

2012 – Bionics

2013 – Drilling tunnels

2014 – Evolution

(For a description of the first coin of this series, please click on the following link:First ever Silver-Niobium coin titled "700 Years of Hall City in Tirol". Links to other coins issued in this Series are given at the end of the post accessed through this link).

Other Category winners, apart from the three Austrian Coin winners are:

Most Historically significant category winner

The Netherlands – 5 Euro silver coin marking the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht that ended the War of the Spanish Succession.

On the Reverse, the coin bears a stylised impression of the globe, together with an impression of the Crest of Utrecht. On the outer periphery on both faces are the engravings of 35 quill pens surrounding the central element representing the signatories who were the signatories. There is an impression of ink flowing from the quill pens towards the globe & the Utrecht crest symbolising a “universal” agreement between the warring groups crystallising into signing of the Treaty of Utrecht. On the periphery is shown the denomination of the coin “5 Euro” followed by “300 JAHRE VREDE VAN UTRECHT” (“300 Jahre” means  “300 years”  and “Vrede van Utrecht” means “Peace of Utrecht”). The year of issue for the coin is mentioned as “2013”.

On the Obverse, the coin bears the likeness of the then Dutch Head of State Queen Beatrix (who abdicated her position in favour of her eldest son, the Prince of Orange and now King Willem-Alexander). On the periphery is mentioned “Der Nederlanden” (meaning “The Netherlands”) and “Beatrix Koningin” (meaning “Beatrix Queen”).

This coin was part of a series of 3 coins (gold, silver and silver plated) issued by the Royal Dutch Mint in 2013 to mark the 300th Anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, an agreement reached through diplomacy between the opposing factions of the War of the Spanish Succession.

In terms of the Treaty signed in 1713, a peace was established between Great Britain, Portugal, Savoy and the Dutch Republic who had been opposed to France and Spain, over who would succeed Charles II, Spain’s last Hapsburg King. Bourbon Factions loyal to Philip favoured the Duke of Anjou, while the opposing groups favoured the succession of Charles, Archduke of Austria, who was also the Holy Roman Emperor.

The Treaty of Utrecht was the first of three treaties which finally ended the War of the Spanish Succession, was signed in the Dutch city and saw the ascension of the Duke of Anjou as Philip V, King of Spain. Afterwards, two additional Treaties – both signed in 1714, one in Rastatt, and the second in Baden both in Germany, concluded the hostilities.

The Spanish Netherlands, in terms of the Treaty, was ceded to the Hapsburgs and came to be was referred to thereafter as the Austrian Netherlands.

Subsequently, in 1813, this area was reunited with the Dutch Republic, under the rule of the then Prince of Orange, who later became King William I of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

The specifications of this coin are:

Metal Composition: .925 silver; Weight: 15.5 gms.; Diameter : 33.00 mm; Minting Quality: Proof; Mintage : 12500 pieces.

Best Contemporary Event Coin winner:

Belarus – 90th Anniversary of the founding of BPS-Sberbank 1 Ruble coin:

This coin is round in shape with a raised rim on the obverse and reverse.
 The Obverse of the Coin has the relief image of the Republic of Belarus’ Coat of Arms on top. On the centre of this face is a geometric design, the basis of which forms a pattern symbolising wealth, well-being and a fruitful beginning which contributes to the growth of profit and prosperity in Belarus’ economy. On the outer top periphery, the inscription is “The Republic of Belarus” (in Russian). On the lower periphery, the year of issue “2013” is mentioned on the left, in the centre is mentioned the denomination of the coin “1 Rouble” (in Russian).

The Reverse of the Coin has an image of a blossomed tree of life in the centre. Towards the top left is an image of the commercial mark of BPS-Sberbank. On the lower periphery is mentioned “BPS-SBERBANK. THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Metal Composition: Copper-nickel; Weight: 13.16 gms; Quality: Proof-like; Diameter: 32.00 mm; Edge: Reeded.

Best Silver Coin Category winner:

Latvia – 2013 Richard Wagner 1 Lats Coin       

The Bank of Latvia commemorated the 200th anniversary of the German composer Richard Wagner in 2013, particularly focussing on the time spent by him in Riga. 
The Reverse of the coin depicts uniquely composed portrait of Wagner in profile with his facsimile signature in English. On the right periphery is the inscription “Riga” and the years “1837-1839”.
The Obverse of the coin shows a sailing ship in a raging sea. This image brings back the memory of the end of his stay in Riga, where he had  served as a music director of a local opera from August 1837 to June 1839. He was forced to quit his job as he had amassed huge debts and to escape from his creditors, he fled Riga under cover of darkness and embark on a stormy sea voyage to London. His voyage was the inspiration for his opera “The Flying Dutchman” ( a mythical ship feared by sailor who saw it and was probably an inverted image of a sailing ship’s mirage caused in the distance, a phenomenon which the sailors could not explain). On the upper right hand side is mentioned the denomination of the coin “1 lats” and on the lower left hand side is mentioned the year of issue “2013”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Composition: 92.5% silver; Weight: 22.00 gms; Diameter: 35 mm. Pieces minted: 5000.       

Best Crown Category winner:             

Ireland – 2013 James Joyce 10 Euro Silver Coin

The Central Bank of Ireland has issued this 10 Euro Silver Crown as part of the EUROPA Silver Star initiative with the theme of the 2013 Coin issues under this Series featuring well-known artists in several fields. Ireland honoured James Joyce (1882-1941) who is considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist “avant-garde” genre (meaning “a group that creates or promotes innovative ideas or techniques in a given field especially in the Arts) of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for his novel “Ulysses” (published in 1922), in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. His other major works include a collection of short stories titled “Dubliners” (1914). Joyce’s works mostly were based on Dubliners and his characters were based on his family members, friends etc. from his early life in Dublin.

This coin has been minted for the Central Bank of Ireland by the Mayer’s Mint, Germany.
 The Obverse of the coin design highlights one of Joyce’s most familiar traits of his appearance, which is his round wire-framed spectacles, with a modern stylised image of Joyce himself. The many titles authored by him seem to be “pouring out of the top of his head” in hand written script. The EUROPA star is placed towards the right hand periphery. Just below the EUROPA star is mentioned the denomination of the coin “10 EURO”.

The Reverse of the coin depicts the traditional Irish National symbol – “the Harp” in the centre of this face, with the name of the country “EIRE” mentioned on the left hand side and the year of issue “2013” on the right hand side of the National symbol.

The specifications of this coin are:

Metal Composition: .925 fine silver; Weight: 28.2 gms; Diameter : 38.6 mm; Quality: Proof; mintage: 10000 pieces.

The “EUROPA Silver Star Coin” or “Euro Star” or the “EUROPA Coin Programme”:
                                The EUROPA Coin Programme logo 
This is an initiative for issuing collector-oriented legal tender coins in precious metals to celebrate the European identity. The issuing authorities of European Union member countries voluntarily contribute coins the the Europa Coin Programme which began in 2004. Some coins are denominated in Euros while others may be denominated in other currencies. The criteria includes these coins to be at least .900 fine silver and to be minted in Proof quality. The coins must show the “Eurostar logo” distinctly and be visible to the naked eye, but not be an integral to the coin’s design.

The Eurostar logo is a special mark used on coins to indicate participation in the Europa Coin Programme. It is a stylised combination of an “E” for Europe (or the Euro symbol) and a star (often used to symbolise a nation for example, the EU Flag).

The themes of the Europa coins over the years have been – EU Enlargement (2004), Peace & Freedom (2005), Distinguished European figures (2006), European Realisation (2007), Cultural Heritage (2008), European Heritage (2009), European Architecture (2010), European Explorers (2011), European Visual Artists (2012), European Writers (2013) and European Composers (2014).

Best Circulating Coin Category winner:

United States of America – 2013 Mount Rushmore National Park Quarter

This coin is part of the fourth annual release of five quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters programme, from the sixteenth to twentieth coin brought out by the US Mint in 2013.

 This coin series features a national park or site from each state, territory and the District of Columbia. The Mount Rushmore coin which is the winning coin in this category is the 20th release under the ATB Quarters Programme.
 The Obverse of this coin shows an engraving of the 1932 portrait of George Washington (designed by John Flanagan, which has been restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model), facing left. On the upper periphery of the coin is the name of the country “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”. On the lower periphery of the coin is mentioned the denomination of the coin “QUARTER DOLLAR”. Towards the left periphery is the word “LIBERTY” and towards the right periphery is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”.

 Further below is engraved the initials of the mint “D” (for Denver Mint), (while the coins issued from Philadelphia mint have the mint mark “P”. “Uncirculated” quality coins have also been issued from the Denver & Philadelphia mints, while “Proof” Quality coins bearing the mint mark “S” have been issued by the San Francisco Mint. 

The Reverse of this coin This design has been inspired by photos of men who are adding the finishing touches to Thomas Jefferson’s face. 

Mount Rushmore has earlier featured on three 1991 Mount Rushmore Golden Anniversary Commemorative Coins and on the 2006 South Dakota quarter issued under the 50 State Quarters Programme.

This new design is distinctly different and offers a unique and educational perspective on how Mount Rushmore was created and sculpted. The inscriptions on the periphery of the reverse face are “MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA, 2013” and “E.PLURIBUS UNUM” (“One out of many”).

The specifications of this coin are:
Metal Composition: Copper: 91.67%, Nickel 8.33% Weight: 5.567 gms; Size (Diameter): 0.955 inch (24.3 mm); Edge: Reeded; Mints: Denver, Philadelphia.

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial: 
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, USA. The Memorial is located 23 miles southwest of Rapid City.

It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum. Mount Rushmore features 60 foot (18m) granite sculptures of the heads of four US Presidents Presidents George Washington (1st President), Thomas Jefferson (3rd President), Abraham Lincoln (16th President), Theodore Roosevelt (26th President). The sculptures are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall. That makes each head as tall as a six-storey building.
The entire Memorial covers 1278.45 acres (5.17 km) and is 5725 feet (1745 m) above sea level.

From 04.10.1927 to 31.10.1941 about 400 workers worked hard at building the Memorial. Workers had to endure conditions varying from blazing hot to bitter cold and windy. They had to climb 700 steps to the top of the mountain from where 3/8 inch thick steel cables would lower them over the front of the 500 foot face of the mountain in a “bosun chair”.

About 90% of the mountain was carved by placing charges of dynamite of specific sizes to remove precise amounts of rock. Dynamite was used until only three to six inches of rock was left to remove to get to the final carving surface. At this point, the drillers and assistant carvers drilled holes into the granite very close together in a “honeycombing” pattern.

After the honey combing operation, the workers smoothed the surface of the faces with a hand facer or bumper tool and air hammers. As a last step, the bumper tool would even the granite, creating a smooth surface. Interestingly, no worker died during the carving.

The entire project cost a little less than US$ 100000.

Most Innovative Coin Category winner: 

Mongolia – 2013 Mongolian Nature Wolf 500 Togrog Silver gilded coin 

This Mongolian coin shows an extraordinary piece of minted silver. Through the use of modern cutting edge technology/method, a very advanced and innovative “cut-out” coin design has been created.
Both the Obverse and Reverse sides present mirror images of a howling wolf. On the Obverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “500 Togrog” towards the centre and the name of the Country “MONGOLIA” on the lower periphery. On the Reverse face “MONGOLIAN NATURE 2013” is mentioned on the centre-left periphery.

The specifications of this coin are:

Metal composition: .925 gilded silver; Weight: ½ oz; Diameter: 38.61 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Mintage: 2500 pieces. Face value: 500 Togrog.

The Mongolian wolf, with a body length of up to 140 cms and a shoulder height of up to 90 cm is a ferocious animal. It is a mammal living in a pack and it has the capability of catching its prey at an impressive speed of 60 km per hour. In order to meet its daily requirement of nutrition, it needs about 4 kgs of meat. These wolves hunt deer and smaller animals like rabbits and mice.

Wolves have a distinct social behaviour. The pups are not only raised by their mothers but also by other members of the pack as well. These predators can communicate by means of various signals such as their tail posture or ruffling up their fur. They can also use their ears by posturing and communicating various signals. The wolf which is common in Mongolia belongs to the genus of Tibetan wolves and are presently listed as an endangered species.

Most Inspirational Coin Category winner: 

Canada - 2013 Fishing 3 dollar Silver Coin 
The Royal Canadian Mint issued this coin which illustrates a favourite hobby of several people across the World – “fishing”.
This hobby is particularly prevalent during the summer afternoons. It is not uncommon even today to see signs on many doors of many small shops and offices in Canada, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard and Maritime Provinces saying “GONE FISHING” with the proprietors taking time off to relax and enjoy nature or simply to catch some fish for that evening’s supper.
 On the Reverse of the coin is a father and son fishing from a dock with their pet dog sitting at their side. On the upper periphery is mentioned the name of the country “CANADA”. On the bottom periphery is mentioned the denomination of the coin “3 DOLLARS”. The year of issue is mentioned to the left of the father’s side “2013”.

On the obverse of the coin is carried a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

The specifications of this coin are:
Metal Composition: .999 silver; Weight: 7.9 gms.; Diameter: 27.00 mm; 
Quality: (Reverse) Proof; Mintage 15000 pieces; Denomination: 3 dollars. 

Posted on 04.02.2015:
 The COTY Awards, on the Presentation/Display table, before they were awarded at the World Money Fair held in Berlin from 30.01.2015 to 01.02.2015.

For COTY winners in later years, please visit the following posts:


  1. Beautiful coins... all of them.. I am always interested in the best circulating coin category.. indeed the Rushmore coin design is very striking.. in fact a couple of previous American state quarters have won this award as well earlier.. I would love to read a post where this coins in this 'affordable' category are highlighted.. I acquired a few years back the Lithuanian baskelball coin 2011 which won the award that year in this category.. and is a prized possession for show-off!

    1. The Mount Rushmore quarter is one of my favourites too. I have put up separate posts yearwise on all the quarters issued under America the Beautiful Quarters Programme elsewhere on this blog and one on the State Quarters too. I have all the circulating State Quarters in my collection too, barring some eight coins. But for the other coins depicted here, I am no longer importing to India, because of massive pilferages/difficulties in getting foreign coins imported through Mumbai Customs.