Austria came out ahead in the Coin of the Year competition when judges selected two of its coins as category winners in the first of two rounds of voting, which concluded Dec. 13.
The first round of voting narrowed the field from an initial 95 to the judges’ top selection in each of 10 categories. From these 10 winners the judges will pick the Coin of the Year in a second round of balloting.
All of the coins being considered were struck in 2010 and the top winners will be honored Feb. 4, 2012, at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.
The public will be able to pit their judgment against that of the judges by voting online for a People’s Choice Award winner from a field comprised primarily of the COTY category winners. Voting took place through Jan. 8 www.numismaticnews.com. This award will also be given in Berlin.
The Austrian Mint’s winning coins are a 10 euro honoring Erzberg, the iron ore mountain in Styria. It won in the Best Silver category, while the silver Philharmonic one-ounce bullion coin beat out the competition to win the Most Popular Coin designation.
The German Federal Ministry of Finance won the Best Contemporary Event Coin for a silver 10 euro celebrating German Unity.
The Royal Canadian Mint won Most Historically Significant Coin honors with a $100 gold coin commemorating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Hudson’s Bay.
The Best Gold Coin award went to the British Royal Mint for its gold 100-pound London Olympics coin.
Best Crown winner was the Andorra Mint’s 5-dinar silver Brown Bear piece.
Taking the title of Most Artistic coin is the 2 new sheqalim silver coin of the Israel Coins and Medals Corporation for a piece celebrating the biblical story of Jonah and the Whale.
San Marino’s first 2-euro circulating coin struck and issued when it joined the euro zone won the Best Trade Coin category.
Winner of Most Innovative Coin honors went to Coin Invest Trust of Liechtenstein for a coin minted on behalf of the Ivory Coast. It is a 1,500 CFA francs silver piece featuring a Mecca Qibla Compass, which stands in relief off the surface of the coin.
Named Most Inspirational Coin was a 20-euro silver piece from the Mint of Finland celebrating children and creativity. This coin is notable because it was the first theme for a Finnish coin selected by public vote and it was also designed by Roope Määttä, an art student at the Kajaani Upper Secondary School, who describes his design as a reminder to always remember one’s roots.
COTY Awards are sponsored by World Coin News, a sister publication to Numismatic News.