Hungary: 200th birthday of János Arany commemorated in three metals

(Coin & Currency Institute, Williston, Vermont)—János Arany is called one of the key figures in Hungarian literature and political life. He was a poet, teacher, editor, secretary of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and one of the best-known and most renowned figures in Hungarian literature.

The National Bank of Hungary is marking the 200th anniversary of his birth with a 5,000-forint miniature gold coin, a 10,000-forint silver coin, and an identical 2,000-forint copper-nickel coin. The front of the small gold piece depicts the titles of Arany’s most important works in a golden motif drawing designed on the golden ratio. The back of the coin bears a facing bust of Arany by Miklós Barabás.

Silver 1,000 forint; the design for the copper-nickel 2,000 forint is the same, except for the denomination.

The 0.999 fine prooflike gold coin has a diameter of 11 mm and weight of 0.5 grams. It costs $67.50. The other two coins are each 38.61 mm, but the silver Proof ($76.50) weighs 31.46 grams while the Uncirculated copper-nickel coin ($19.50) is 30.8 grams. All three coins have an issue limit of 5,000 pieces each.

Arany was born into a poor Calvinist family and raised with great care, as eight of nine siblings died of tuberculosis before him. He was a true child prodigy and started working as a tutor at the age of 11 to support his aging parents. He was well educated and as an adult he read the great works of Latin, Greek, German, English, and French literature in the original and did a great deal of significant translation work. His translations of Shakespeare are outstanding. His vocabulary was unparalleled, as he used some 60 thousand individual words in his works, surpassing his contemporaries by far. As the greatest Hungarian ballad writer, he was known as the Shakespeare of ballads—some called him “the notary of Szalonta” for his profession, whereas in his home town he was given the name “the listening man,” likely in reflection of his character.

To order, or for more information on these and other coins of Hungary, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American representative at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495 (toll-free 1-800-421-1866; fax 802-536-4787; email: mail@coin-currency.com)—or click on the Hungarian flag at https://www.coin-currency.com/ for secure website ordering. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Shipping to other countries will be based on actual cost. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those desiring to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their email address to mail@coin-currency.com.   ❑

Press release courtesy of the Coin & Currency Institute.

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