The Kremnica Mint of Slovakia has recently released a new silver collector coin to recognize the conservation area of the Dubník opal mines.
The old opal mines of Dubník are located in eastern Slovakia. Until the discovery of the opal fields in Mexico and Australia in the 19th century, Dubník was the only site of opal mining in the world. The history of opal mining at the site can be traced back to the period of the Roman Empire, although the mines were most active between the period of 1845 to 1880 when they were leased to the Goldschmidt family of Vienna. Opal mining ended at the site in 1922 and since this time the mineworkings have become a wintering site for 16 species of bat, including Geoffroy’s bat. In 1964, the Dubník mines were classified as a conservation habitat and later a conservation area.
Many pieces of jewelry containing opals from Dubník are part of collections held by leading European and world museums. This includes Isabella’s neckclace, received by Isabella Jagiellon on the occasion of her marriage to the King of Hungary in 1859. This necklace is included within the design of the new coin.
The obverse features a portrayal of Isabella’s necklace, which is decorated with Dubník opals, against the background of the silhouette of a bat. The national emblem of the Slovak Republic appears below with the 2014 date. Inscriptions include SLOVENSKO and the denomination of 20 EURO.
The reverse design also carries the silhouette of a bat, which is set against the mine’s interior. At the bottom is the entrance to the Jozef tunnel. Inscriptions include NÁLEZISKO OPÁLOV (“opal field”) and DUBNÍCKE BANE (“Dubník mines”).
The edge of the coin contains the inscription OSOBITOSTI PRÍRODY SLOVENSKA (Special features of Slovak nature).
Each coin is struck in 92.5% silver with a weight of 33.63 grams and diameter of 40 mm. A brilliant uncirculated version carries a mintage of 2,750 pieces, while a proof version has a mintage of 5,300.
These coins can be found in the Kremnica Mint e-shop.