World War 1 Theme Dominates 2015 Dated Coin of the Year Awards
Italy took the top award for coins dated 2015 at the Krause Coin of the Year ceremony held during the World’s Fair of Money in Berlin on Saturday, February 5, 2017. Both the United States and Finland took home two category awards. Four of the coins had themes related to World War 1.
Maria Grazia Colaneri, an artist for the Italian State Mint who won the Krause award for lifetime achievement in 2015 designed the 10 Euro silver coin commemorating 70 years of peace in Europe (KM-387). She was on hand to receive the top honor at the award ceremony along with other top officials from the Mint.
This year’s Krause Coin of the year, a silver coin that won the “Most Artistic Coin” category, has a mintage of 6,000 and bears an “R” Mintmark of the Mint of Rome along with the dual date, “1945 2015.” The obverse depicts a dove perched on the finger of the goddess, Europa. The reverse inscription reads, 70 ANNI DI PACE IN EUROPA beneath a reclining goddess of peace holding an olive branch in her left hand.
For the United States, it was the second time in a row that the United States Mint dominated two categories after a 7-year drought of international attention. The Salk Polio Vaccine commemorative dollar coin (KM-604) won the “Most Inspirational Coin” while the Kisatchie National Forest (KM-598) won the category, “Best Circulating Coin.”
Finland took home two prizes as well. The Lapland Reindeer (KM-224) won “Best Bi-Metallic Coin” while the ten Euro marking the 70th Anniversary of peace after World War 2 (KM-226) won the “Best Silver Coin.” Considering the number of coins minted for 2015 with the peace theme, it was quite surprising that only this and the Coin of the Year design from Italy were selected from all of those bearing that theme.
However, World War 2 themes dominated two other category winners. Canada took the “Most Historically Significant Coin” (KM-1860) award with its $20-coin depicting “In Flanders Fields,” a poem by John McCrae. And Great Britain took “Best Crown Award” with its Five Pound coin depicting the larger than life face of Sir Winston Churchill (KM-1298).
Japan won the “Best Contemporary Event Coin” for its gold 10,000 Yen marking the Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction (Y-248). While the Japan Mint commemorated that tragedy with several silver and gold coins in 2015, the coin that took the honor carries an obverse design depicting an origami bird flying over an image of Japan.
Another gold coin from Austria’s animals’ series took the “Best Gold Coin” award. This time the Capercaille (KM-3246), a very difficult to find bird for hunters because it comes out only once a year took the prize.
Coin Investment Trust made the Cook Islands coin that won the “Most Innovative Coin” category. It is a $2 silver piece that depicts the Space-Time Continuum (KM-1693). It is shaped like a black hole with a magnetic sphere in the center.
About three hundred people and many mint officials from around the world attended the ceremony on Saturday hosted by Krause Publications and its two new COTY sponsors, The “World Money Fair” and the “Journal of East Asian Numismatics.” David Harper presided over the ceremony and a small brochure depicting the winners was at every table in keeping with the 32-year tradition of the award ceremony.