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U.S. in award race

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 cross.

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 votes.

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 independence.

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 substitute.

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 history.

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 lisa.bellavin@fwmedia.com.

More Resources:

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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