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COTY goes to Mongolia

The 26th annual Coin of the Year award winner is a 500-tugrik silver coin issued by the National Bank of Mongolia promoting wildlife protection. It portrays a gulo gulo, a wolverine-like creature depicted with diamonds for eyes.

The award was given Feb. 7 at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.

Hosting the event was Numismatic News Editor Dave Harper.

Accepting the award for the National Bank of Mongolia were Peter Frei and Pascal Voegeli of Coin Invest Trust, a firm headquartered in Liechtenstein that marketed the coin.

The Coin of the Year is chosen from among the 10 COTY category winners in a second round of balloting. The 500- tugrik won in the Best Silver coin category.

The United States Mint did very well in the category awards, taking three honors. Director of the U.S. Mint Ed Moy was called forward to accept the Award for Most Historically Significant coin. It was a silver dollar commemorating the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia.

Moy also accepted awards for the Best Contemporary Event coin and the Most Popular Coin. The Best Contemporary Event coin was a silver dollar commemorating the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. The Most Popular Coin honor was for the George Washington $1 coin from the Presidential circulating dollar series.

These coins and the other award winners are all dated 2007. Harper also said that the difference between historical and contemporary event coins was that the historical pieces were 100 years and older and the contemporary event coins were 99 years and newer.

Winning the People’s Choice Award was a Hungarian 5,000- forint coin depicting Gyula Castle. This sterling silver coin topped voting by collectors around the world who made their wishes known by an online voting process at numismaster.com.

Accepting the award were Terez Horvath, the commercial director of the Hungarian Mint, and Ferenc Gaal, its general director.

The National Bank of Belarus did well this year with two awards. Vladimir Sokol, the head of the Issue and Cash Operations Directorate, and Andrey Kopshik, deputy head of the Banknote and Coins Development Division, came forward to be recognized.

Belarus won the Best Crown Award for a .925 fine silver 20 rubles for Pancake Week, which marks the beginning of spring. In the Most Inspirational coin category, Belarus won with a 1,000-ruble silver coin for St. Euphrasyne of Polatsk. The coin is a very large 1,083.80 grams and has a diameter of 100mm as compared to a U.S. silver dollar of 38.1mm.

The Best Gold coin was a 1,000 kroner from Denmark. Director of the Royal Danish Mint Hans Denkov and Governor of the National Bank of Denmark Torben Nielsen accepted the award.

Best trade coin was from Italy. The circulating 2-euro coin depicting Dante, author of the “Divine Comedy,” was chosen by the judges. Accepting the award were Mario Alberigi and Isabella Angrisani, both of the marketing and sales department of the Italian Mint.

The 10-euro silver commemorative showing Austria’s Melk Abby was declared the Most Artistic coin. Accepting the award were Kerry Tattersall, marketing director of the Austrian Mint; Kirsten Petersen, director of overseas markets; and Christian Koelbl, head of sales.

Taya Pobjoy of the Pobjoy Mint was pleased to be given the Most Innovative coin award on behalf of the British Virgin Islands. The 65mm, five-ounce $50 silver coin marks the centennial of the first color photo and it also serves as a picture frame itself into which the owner can insert a favorite photo.

Nominations for the next Coin of the Year Award for coins dated 2008 are now being accepted by World Coin News. A review committee compiles the entries into a ballot that lists up to 10 coins in each of the 10 categories. This list then goes to the international panel of judges for a first round of voting later this year. For the People’s Choice Award, an online ballot of 15 entries is produced for review by the world’s collectors. These honors will be given in early 2010.

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