United States Mint Director Ed Moy took a bow for the Mint and its American Eagle silver bullion coin Jan. 30 as he accepted the Most Popular Coin Award at the Coin of the Year Awards ceremony at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.
Moy told the audience that the A.A. Weinman design on the silver Eagle has been popular for almost 100 years since it was first used on the half dollar in 1916.
The specific date of issue being honored was 2008, but it is hard not to mention the record level of sales recorded in 2009, and Moy did so.
Though not bullion coins, the top two award winners were also made of precious metals. The Coin of the Year, a gold 20 lati pieceof Latvia, also bears a design from the same era as Weinman’s. In this case it was a 1922 work by Teodors Zalkalns that was not issued at the time it was created.
The obverse of the Latvian coin features a woman in a scarf representing motherhood and the reverse shows the staples of life, bread, milk in a jug and an apple that signify fertility and plenitude.
Accepting the Coin of the Year Award was Maruta Brukle, the head of the coin division of the Bank of Latvia and her boss, Janis Blums, who heads the bank’s cash department.
A silver 5,000 forint of Hungary was given the People’s Choice Award, which was selected by the public via online voting. It is a commemorative of the Tokaj wine region.
Accepting the award was a trio of officials – Ferenc Gaal, director of the Hungarian Mint; Terez Horvath, its commercial director; and Erica Lescko of the National Bank of Hungary.
This is the third time Hungary has won, making a clean sweep since the award was added to the Coin of the Year family of honors, which is raising some eyebrows among some hobbyists in Germany.
Perhaps a tweaking of the award rules is in order, they suggest.
Presenting the awards was Dave Harper, editor of Numismatic News and executive editor of World Coin News, which sponsors the awards that have been given each year since 1984.
There is a time lag built into the selection process, so the awards were given for coins minted in 2008.
The World Money Fair has been chosen as the COTY awards venue because it hosts the largest gathering of mint and national bank officials in a numismatic context. This year some 50 institutions took booths in Berlin.
The show is also a very large coin show.
Hans-Henning Goehrum, president of the Money Fair, said attendance at the 2010 event ran about the same as in 2009.
Observers on the floor were guessing beforehand that the show was even better attended than last year.
For more images of the Coin of the Year ceremony, the World Money Fair and more, visit the Krause Publications Numismatics page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kpnumismatics.