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Who will win COTY awards?

Today the Coin of the Year nominating panel meets here in Iola this afternoon to review the new issues of 2010 and the many nominations sent to us by the world’s mints, finance ministries, central banks and our collector readers.

I have served on the panel on and off since the founding of the award, which covered the new issues of 1982. In that time, the number of new coins issued each year has exploded.

That is both good and bad. So many new issues give artists the opportunity to create work that impresses or inspires collectors. Great coinage art, of course, is not something that occurs everyday.

There are many cookie cutter designs that show people or things that I scratch my head over, either in incomprehension or in amazement that the persons depicted look so little like their photographs.

But that is life. Quality varies. Inspiration wouldn’t be inspiration if we could turn it on and off like tap water.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about being on the panel is to see the points where we react similarly and then with other issues on which we can have widely diverging views.

The maximum number of coins that will make the cut is 100. There are 10 categories and there are 10 slots possible for each.

Once that final list is reached, it is submitted to an international panel of judges. They vote for their choice of category winners. Then a second round of voting is held to choose the Coin of the Year from the category winners.

The COTY Awards will be given Feb. 4, 2012, at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.