Last week Krause Publications announced the ten category winners of the 2014 Coin of the Year Awards for 2012-dated coins. This article on Coin Update News provided images of all ten of the winning coins, so I won’t repeat them here.
For World Mint News Blog, I wanted to take the approach of highlighting ten interesting, popular, or personal favorite 2012-dated coins that did not win awards.
The Perth Mint’s 2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Coin was definitely among the most popular world coin releases of the year. The limited mintage bullion versions sold out almost instantly, as did many of the numismatic versions that were offered. This coin was actually one of the reasons that I decided to start World Mint News Blog since it was generating so many comments on the main US focused site.
Shown above is the high relief 1 oz silver proof version of the coin.
Similarly, the Australian Lunar 2012 Year of the Dragon Gold Coin generated a high amount of interest from collectors. In addition to the bullion and numismatic versions offered throughout the year, the Perth Mint also produced a very limited mintage high relief proof version late in the year.
Latvia’s 2012 “Folk Maiden” 5 Lats Silver Coin was issued to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the central bank and the national currency unit. The design comes from the original 5 Lats silver coin issued in 1929, which has come to be a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and sovereignty. It has also appeared on a 1/25 oz. gold coin and will be featured on the upcoming circulating Latvian Euro coins.
Once again this coin had a very strong response from collectors and quickly sold its higher than typical 10,000 piece mintage. This coin was not even nominated. Perhaps the rules of the awards do not allow coins which reuse classic designs to be considered.
One of the four Latvian coins that was nominated was the 2012 Riga Technical University 1 Lats Silver Coin. The square shaped coin is composed of two detachable triangles which can serve a functional purpose in line with the theme of the coin. The upper triangle is designed as a protractor, while the lower triangle is a calibrated ruler. On the reverse is a panoramic view of the University with its reflection in the lower section along with a protractor and ruler.
The total mintage of 3,000 pieces sold out quickly and the coin now commands a hefty premium if you can find one.
While the Austrian Mint had four coins nominated, the first release in the “Klimt and His Women” gold coin series was not included. These coins feature intricate reproductions of sections from Gustav Klimt’s works.
The first coin in the series features a portion of the 1907 painting Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I.
The coin shown above from the Republic of Belarus is from the Folk Legends series and features the Legend of the Bear. The obverse design shows a spinning wheel with its pattern changing into the structure of tree rings against silhouetted images of bears. The reverse contains an extremely distinctive stylized image of a bear.
I liked this coin so much that I added it to my collection, along with a few others from the series. The coin was nominated, but did not win the award for its category.
Another coin from Belarus, this one was issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the Belarusian Railroad. The obverse design features a modern electric train against the railway terminal. The reverse features the image of a steam engine that was produced from 1860 to 1865 against a terminal building constructed in the early 1860′s.
The modern train side of the coin carries a proof like finish, while the classic train side carries an antique or oxidized finish. The use of different finishes reinforces the theme of the coin and provides some unique appeal.
The National Bank of Poland issued the commemorative coin shown above to mark the 150th anniversary of the National Museum in Warsaw. The coin represents the anniversary of the museum with a single object, which is shaped and oriented to leave wide fields of open space, which forms part of an overall distinctive image. This is a nice change from some coins which try to cram too many design elements onto the limited canvas of a coin surface.
Shown above is the 2012 Master Pavol of Levoca 10 Euro Silver Coin issued for the 2012 Europa Coin Program highlighting European Artists. The coin was produced by the Kremnica Mint and features images of the Madonna from the Nativity scene in St. Jacob’s Church in Levoča and a detail from a sculpture of an apostle. The design carries a distinctive style which matches the theme and subject matter of the coin.
Last, here is the 2012 Hawaii Volcanoes Silver Proof Quarter, one of the two US coins which were nominated but did not win. The other nomination was for the 2012 Star Spangled Banner Silver Dollar. It would have been nice to see the United States Mint take home an award.
Maybe next year…