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Polymer not just for notes anymore

A translucent polymer ring in The German Federal Ministry of Finance’s 2016-dated “Planet Earth” copper-nickel 5-euro coin helped earn it 2018 Coin of the Year honors. It also won the Most Innovative Coin category.

The winner of the 2018 Coin of the Year Awards, a competition presented by Krause Publications’ World Coin News, sister publication of Bank Note Reporter, turned heads with its cutting-edge technology: the inclusion of a polymer ring in a copper-nickel coin.

The use of the polymer material, most commonly seen in the production of modern bank notes, earned The German Federal Ministry of Finance honors in the Most Innovative Coin category, and ultimately the top award: Coin of the Year.

“An easy win in the Most Innovative category, the polymer ring was developed by the German Mint as an anti-counterfeiting device,” said Donald Scarinci, author of Krause Publications’ Coin of the Year book. “The coin was minted in proof and in circulation strike by each of Germany’s five mints. The polymer ring is a slightly different shade of blue for each mint that is easily spotted when the coins are placed on a light board or when they are held up to the light.”

Members of the COTY nominating committee and judging panel were clearly impressed by this innovative use of polymer and the implications the technology will have on modern coin security.

The 2016-dated, 5-euro coin is themed “Planet Earth” with the translucent polymer ring representing the Earth’s atmosphere.

Stefan Klein and Olaf Neumann designed the coin’s obverse, and Alina Hoyer designed the reverse.

Germany accepted its awards along with other mints from around the world at the COTY ceremony held Feb. 3 in conjunction with the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany. Click here for a complete list of category winners.


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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