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Coin of the Year, an award for excellence in coinage design first issued in 1984 by Krause Publications in Iola, Wisconsin, has become the ultimate international recognition of mints and their artists, growing into the community’s most coveted award for contemporary world coins. Today, artists and mints worldwide openly compete for one of the Krause Coin of the Year categories. The announcement of the Coin of the Year is one of the highlights of the annual World Money Fair and the winner in internationally celebrated. any remaining mintage of the winner quickly sells out and coin values rise dramatically on the secondary market. this is, indeed, solid evidence of the global acceptance, standing and success of the annual award. The Coin of the Year Ward had a humble origin as a pet project of Krause Publications’ founder Chester “Chet” Krause and former Krause Publications’ President and CEO Clifford “Cliff” Mishler. by highlighting medallic art with merit, Mishler hoped to encourage world mints ot improve the art of coins. Few could have imagined how the brainchild of these two pioneering men would be so well received today. An international panel of judges nominates and votes for coins in each category. Category winners then compete for the grand price – the Krause Coin of the Year. The celebration of these winners presents a contemporary history of the world and history of contemporary art. Most of the coins remain available and affordable. A collection of coins in any of the categories makes an attractive visual display, providing hours of fun and learning.    

Coin of the Year Goes to Latvia

Bank of Latvia’s 2018-dated Honey Coin, a gold-plated silver 5 euro, has been named the 2020 Coin of the Year.

The day was sweet as honey for the Bank of Latvia when its 5-euro Honey Coin was given top honors as 2020 Coin of the Year during an awards ceremony held Feb. 1 in conjunction with the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.

The Coin of the Year awards program, now in its 37th year, is an internationally conducted competition presented by World Coin News to recognize outstanding coin design and innovation worldwide. The 2020 program, sponsored by The Journal of East Asian Numismatics and the World Money Fair, honored coins dated 2018 in 10 categories of competition as decided by an international panel of judges.

Jānis Blūms of the Bank of Latvia (left) accepts the Coin of the Year award from Tom Michael, COTY coordinator.

The Honey Coin is styled as a honeycomb in gold-plated silver by artist Artūrs Analts. The Bank of Latvia calls it “a symbol of diligence and sweetness of work.” It was voted number-one from a pool of 10 category-winning coins, where it had come out on top in the Most Artistic Coin category.

“The impact of bees on both our ecologies and economies is fast being recognized as mammoth, so this simple and elegant design presents a lovely counterpoint to focus human response,” said Tom Michael, Coin of the Year coordinator and awards ceremony presenter.

Michael also coordinates the COTY nominating committee, whose job is to select 100 nominees from the more than 1,000 coins submitted for consideration by mints across the globe. He recalls the Latvian coin holding its own during the process.

“Of the many honey-themed coins we considered for nomination, this one really stood out,” he said. “Nominated by both the issuer and committee member Donald Scarinci, the Bank of Latvia Honey Coin garnered strong support from the judges and won by a very wide margin.”

Jānis Blūms, head of cash department and board member for the Central Bank of Latvia, was in attendance to accept the award.

Jānis Blūms of the Bank of Latvia with The Honey Coin and its awards.

Following is the list of 2020 category winners, whose issuing entities all accepted awards during the Feb. 1 ceremony.


Most Historically Significant Coin
Monnaie de Paris
10 Euro, Silver with Color
Great War: People’s Jubilation


Best Circulating Coin
Austrian Mint
2 Euro, Bi-metallic
100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Austrian Republic


Best Contemporary Event Coin
Italian Mint
5 Euro, Silver with Color
70th Anniversary of the Italian Constitution


Best Bi-Metallic Coin
Austrian Mint
25 Euro, Bi-metallic


Best Gold Coin
Austrian Mint
50 Euro, Gold
Vienna Schools of Psychotherapy: Alfred Adler


Most Artistic Coin
Bank of Latvia
5 Euro, Gold-Plated Silver
Honey Coin


Best Silver Coin
Lithuania Mint
5 Euro, Silver with Color
Joninės: Rasos Šventė


Most Innovative Coin
Lithuanian Mint
5, 10, 20 Euro, Silver; 50 Euro, Gold
100th Anniversary of the Restoration of Lithuania Independence


Best Crown Coin
Royal Australian Mint
5 Dollars, Silver with Color, Curved
The Earth and Beyond: Earth


M0st Inspirational Coin
Perth Mint
1 Dollar, Silver with Color
100th Anniversaryof the End of World War I


More details on the voting process and information for all 100 2020 nominees are available here.


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