U.S. in the
Race for Coin of the Year
By David C. Harper
The U.S. American Eagle
one-ounce silver coin was in the thick of things
as voting to select the Coin of the Year Award
winner for 2010 began Dec. 31 and was expected
to conclude Jan. 8.
As one of the 10 category winners selected in a
first round of online balloting by an
international panel of judges in December, the
silver Eagle was in contention for the
prestigious COTY Award that will be given Jan.
30 at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.
It won the most votes from judges in the Most
Popular category. High sales numbers are a major
factor in how judges vote in this category.
All coins under consideration are dated 2008.
There is an in-built delay to allow the world’s
issuing banks and mints to follow their own
issuing schedules, since not all of them follow
calendar year schedules. This is especially true
of issues used in circulation, which compete in
the Best Trade Coin category.
This year’s Trade coin winner is a bimetallic
2-euro coin issued by the Central Bank of
Cyprus. The coin depicts an ancient statue
Other coins in contention include a silver 100
tenge commemorating Ghengis Khan from the
Kazakhstan Mint. It topped the Most Historically
Significant category, which honors persons or
events of 100 or more years in the past.
In a related category of Best Contemporary
Event, which marks events or persons from less
than 100 years ago, a silver 10 sheqalim from
the Bank of Israel that commemorates 60 years of
statehood of modern Israel received the most
Winner of the Best Gold category was a 20 lati
issued by the Bank of Latvia. It marks the 15th
anniversary of the renewal of the lats currency
after Latvia regained independence from the old
Soviet Union. The original design was created in
1922 during a prior period of Latvian
A German silver 10-euro commemorative coin
topped the Best Silver Coin category. The issue
honors writer Franz Kafka, who was born 125
years before, in 1883.
The Austrian Mint’s 10-euro silver coin for
Abbey Klosterneuberg received the most votes in
the Best Crown category. Crowns are coins that
are 34 millimeters or larger in diameter and
usually are silver or a base metal silver
The 65th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising against the Nazi occupation is the
theme of the 200 zlotych gold coin issued by the
National Bank of Poland that won the Most
Artistic Coin category.
Winner of the title of Most Innovative Coin is
an Austrian 25-euro piece that consists of a
silver ring and niobium center. The niobium is
colored a shimmering green by a special
oxidation process and this effect celebrates the
phenomenon of light. The design on the obverse
shows a gas lamp of the 19th century and the
other side carries a portrait of Austrian
inventor Auer von Welsbach and an evolutionary
series of lightbulbs.
Canada was the 10th category winner. Its $2,500
gold piece named “Towards Confederation” was
named Most Inspirational Coin. It is part of a
series for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the
design presents the full sweep of Canadian
A companion award, the People’s Choice Award,
will also be given in Berlin. The winner is
selected by means of online voting at http://www.numismaster.com/ta/inside_numis.jsp?page=Coty2009.
Voting was set to conclude Jan. 10.
Anyone could make a selection from a field of 20
contending coin issues.
The COTY Award and the People’s Choice Award are
sponsored by World Coin News, a sister
publication to Numismatic News that covers the
field of world coinage.
Nominations for the 2011 award can be made by
anyone from among the many world coin issues
dated 2009. Submit them with images and full
descriptions to Lisa Bellavin at