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Time to choose winners

The Coin of the Year selection process goes into high gear today as the nominating committee meets in Iola, Wis., to review all of the nominations that have been received this year.

The job of the committee is to whittle the number down to a manageable 10 coins in 10 categories, or 100 pieces maximum.

By doing this we create a ballot listing up to 100 competitors from which an international panel of judges will be asked to vote their choices.

There are two rounds of voting.

In the first round of voting, the judges will be asked to select the top coins in each category.

From this narrowed field of 10 category winners the members of the international panel are asked to vote again to select the Coin of the Year.

All of the coins being considered this year are dated 2014 or the equivalent in other dating methods.

The awards will be presented Feb. 6, 2016 at the World Money Fair in Berlin.

Coin of the Year Awards have been presented annually by World Coin News, a sister publication to Numismatic News, since 1984.

The very first winner was the George Washington commemorative half dollar struck by the United States in 1982.

Numerous countries have won awards since then and it is always exciting to see how the competition shapes up.

The voting results will give us the category winners in early November and the top winner will be known by early December.

Good luck to all in this competition.

If you see a 2015-coin that you think should be considered in next year’s process, please send the information you have about it to me. It is not too early to start thinking about it.

The 10 categories are as follows:

Most Historical covers events, people and institutions of 100 or more years ago.

Best Contemporary Event covers these of less than 100 years ago, so it is still historical but of more recent vintage.

Best Gold

Best Silver

Best crown (coins of 37-45 millimeters, historically made of silver, but more recently of silver-colored base metals).

Best Circulating Coin

Best Bi-Metallic Coin

Most Artistic Coin

Most Innovative Coin (Over the years this has included entries that run from colorized coins to body heat sensitive coins to different shapes, multiple pieces that fit together as one and coins with holograms, etc.)

Most Inspirational Coin

You do not have to nominate a coin to a specific category for it to be considered by the nominating panel, but they are offered here to show how we are guided to judgments.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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