No Controversy with 2016 Best Contemporary & Most Historical COTY Coin Picks

2016 and 2017 were years of seemingly endless controversy, but the international panel of Krause Coin of the Year judges preferred non-controversial commemorative topics to win the best contemporary event and most historical categories for coins dated 2016.  Switzerland’s 20 Euro commemorative for the Gottardo Tunnel won the best contemporary event and France’s gold 200 Euro Joan of Arc coin won Most historical.

Best Contemporary Event Coin Switzerland / 20 Francs silver / Gottardo Tunnel
Best Contemporary Event Coin
Switzerland / 20 Francs silver / Gottardo Tunnel
Most Historically Significant Coin France / 200 euros gold / Joan of Arc
Most Historically Significant Coin
France / 200 euros gold / Joan of Arc

Switzerland’s tunnel defeated coins like China’s 10 yuan silver coin commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the long march of the Chinese red army; the Cook Islands $1 commemorating Brexit, Kyrgyzstan’s 10 com 30th anniversary of the Nomad Games; Portugal’s 2 Euro commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 25th of April Bridge and Slovenia’s 2 Euro commemorating the 25th Anniversary of their independence.

Admittedly the Olympic movement coin from Belarus, France’s celebration of the modernism of Yves Saint Laurent and Japan’s Tokyo prefecture probably didn’t have a prayer of getting many votes than the judges from those countries, the designs of all three are beautiful.  These coins deserved to be singled out for their art and the mints should be proud of such fine designs.

As to both categories, however, the rule is clear that “the artistic merit of a given issue should be accorded secondary consideration.”

Some coins that were passed over by the judges in the most historical category were surprising.  Portugal’s carnation revolution has never been honored with COTY notwithstanding its importance in both Portuguese and world history.  The nice design of the 50th anniversary 2 Euro commemorating the event should have given judges additional incentive to vote for it, but the coin did not get the votes to win.

Slovenia’s 25th Anniversary and Kyrgystan’s Nomad games were worthy topics and the designs were admirable.  The Nomad games are an international competition of sports practiced in Central Asia.  The games have had a unifying effect on the countries that participate.

The Cook Islands Brexit coin was, perhaps, the most contemporary event selected.  While the design is not particularly creative, the timeliness of the coin should have been rewarded.  Countries should strive to commemorate important current events.

An 80th anniversary is an odd thing to commemorate, but there is contemporary significance for the People’s Republic of China to commemorate the long march of the Chinese red army right now.

In the Most historical category, France’s 200 Euro commemorating Joan of Arc defeated Australia’s 400th Anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s Landfall when the first Europeans settled in the continent, Ireland’s 15 Euro commemorating Easter Rising, and Latvia’s 5 Euro commemorating the Christmas Battle

The United State’s $1 Mark Twain commemorative and Austria’s 20 Euro Commemorative of Wolfgang Mozart probably never really had a chance to win, but some of the other nominees in this category certainly had the art and history to carry the votes.  The loss of Ireland’s Easter Rising and Australia’s 400th Anniversary of the first Europeans is somewhat surprising given the importance of these events.

The “most Historically Significant Coin” must have a subject or theme that is “deemed highly significant in terms of the historical heritage of a people, a country or mankind.”  The event commemorated “must have passed into a historical perspective at least 100 years ago.”

The “Best Contemporary Event” category must commemorate “events, institutions or individuals deemed important in terms of current or recent events influencing a people or mankind.”  The subject in this category must have occurred “within the past 99 years.”

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