The eyes have it.
The U.S. Mint’s slim chance at winning a 2013 Krause Publications Coin of the Year Award with its Olympic National Park quarter entry was not enough.
In the first of two rounds of voting, an international panel of judges instead selected a Mongolian coin as the winner in the Most Popular Coin category that features an owl with eyes of crystal. This 500-tugrik coin also is made of silver whereas the U.S. Olympic quarter in contention is made of copper-nickel.
The Krause Mishler catalog number for the Mongolian winner is 309. KM numbers and Y numbers are assigned to world coins to help numismatists keep track of the many thousands of designs that have been issued in the last 500 years.
The Mongolian coin will vie for the top Coin of the Year title with the winners of nine other categories.
The first round of judging concluded Nov. 30 and the second round was ongoing as this issue of Numismatic News went to press.
All of the coins in contention were issued with 2011 dates and the 2013 COTY Awards will be given Feb. 2 at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany. Trophies will be presented to the winner of top Coin of the Year Award and to the winners of the 10 categories.
The award of Most Historically Significant coin was won by the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic for its 10- som silver coin commemorating the Silk Road. (KM-48).
Best Contemporary Event coin was awarded to the Austrian Mint for its 25- euro silver and niobium coin celebrating the evolution of robotics. (KM-3204)
The South African Mint was awarded the honor of Best Gold coin, for its 50- rand gold featuring the meerkat. It is part of the SA Mint’s Natura series entitled “Nature’s Families.” (KM-511)
The Royal Canadian Mint claimed the award for Best Silver coin for its $20 silver coin, which features a canoe in the water and its reflection. (KM-1176)
Monnaie de Paris will take home the award for Best Crown coin. The 10-euro silver coin is the second issue in a new series called “From Clovis to Republic – 1500 Years of French History.” It was created by famed fashion designer Christian Lacroix, and features Charlemagne, who was crowned the first Holy Roman emperor in A.D. 800. (KM-1802)
Best Trade coin was awarded to the National Bank of Lithuania for a 1-litas copper-nickel coin honoring the sport of basketball. (KM-177)
The Most Artistic coin was awarded to the Bank of Latvia. The winning coin is a square, 1-lats silver piece honoring the artist Alexandrs Caks. (KM-120)
The Most Innovative coin of the year was awarded to the Royal Dutch Mint for its 5-euro silver coin celebrating the Mint’s 100th anniversary. It features a QR code (short for Quick Response Code) on the reverse, which can be scanned with a smart phone for more information. (KM-302)
Topping he Most Inspirational coin category was a coin from the Mint of Poland. The 10-zlotych silver coin honors the 100th anniversary of the Society for the Protection of the Blind. (Y-796)
Judges are set to finish their second round of voting in mid December to choose the top Coin of the Year winner from these field of 10 coins.
The Coin of the Year program was created by Krause Publications’ World Coin News, a sister publication to Numismatic News. The awards were first given in 1984.