U.S. Celebrates Two Wins at Coin of the Year Awards
For the first time in ten years the United States won top honors with the Baseball Hall of Fame clad half dollar coin as the Krause Coin of the Year for coins dated 2014.
The United States won two awards at the first round of the 2016 Coin of the Year Awards, which were held in November. Austria led the field with three honors.
The winning coins from the United States both came from the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program. The half dollar copper-nickel clad Baseball coin (KM#576) won the Most Innovative Coin award, which recognized the U.S. Mint’s accomplishment of minting a cupped clad coin. This is a technical innovation because prior to this coin it had not been considered possible to strike copper-nickel in a concave due to the hardness of the metal.
The second United States coin to win a Krause coin of the Year category was the Baseball gold $5 coin (KM#578). This coin was sold separately or as part of a three coin set that included the half dollar and the dollar denomination. All three coins were cupped in shape by design. They are the first such coins to be minted by the United States Mint.
Latvia’s was the most controversial coin to win an award. Its five-euro silver coin for the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way demonstration (KM#161) won the Best Contemporary Event Coin. The coin commemorates a peaceful demonstration involving two million people from Lativa, Lithuania and Estonia who joined their hands to form a human chain more than 400 miles long. The demonstration protested the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic states, a movement that ultimately culminated in their independence.
Below are the other winners:
- Best Silver Coin: Austria’s 20 Euro coin (KM# 3233) commemorates the fall of the Iron Curtain.
- Best Bi-Metallic Coin: Austria took the honor with a 25-euro silver and niobium coin (KM#3227) highlighting the science of evolution.
- Most Artistic Coin: Austria’s final award was for a gold 50-euro coin (KM#3229) honoring a Gustav Klimt painting, Judith II.
- Most Historically Significant Coin: The award went to Germany’s 10-euro silver coin (KM#332a) commemorating the 300th anniversary of Daniel Fahrenheit’s invention of the mercury thermometer.
- Best Crown Coin: Canada’s winning $20 silver coin (KM#1759) features a view looking up at a Maple Leaf tree canopy.
- Best Circulating Coin: Great Britain’s Lord Kitchener two pound bi-metallic coin (KM#1279) won the honor.
- Most Inspirational Coin: Poland won the category with its 10-zlotych silver coin (Y#902) honoring the birth of Jan Karski, who smuggled Holocaust evidence to the Allies in a hollow key.
On December 6, 2015, judges selected the overall Coin of the Year from the 10 winners. The winner will be announced on NumismaticNews.net, Numismaster.com and in the January issue of World Coin News. The winner will be honored during a ceremony on Feb. 6, 2016, at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.
Since 1984, the Coin of the Year Awards has selected the best designed coins from mints and world banks from around the world. The international panel of judges includes mint and museum officials, journalists and expert numismatists. My book about the Krause Coin of the Year is available in bookstores or on Amazon.com.