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Coin of the Year revs up

Today the nominating panel for the Coin of the Year awards meets in Iola to begin the judging process.

Coins dated 2012 are under consideration.

The Coin of the Year Award winner, and the winners in each of the 10 competitive categories, will be recognized by their peers at a ceremony Feb. 8, 2014, at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.

A welcome addition to the nominating committee this year is Chris Liassides of Sigloe Numismatica of Germany. Numismatics is his passion. His profession is medicine.

Panel discussions are always interesting. Of course, some nominating categories are easy like Best Silver and Best Gold.

Some are hard, like Most Inspirational and Best Circulating Coin. Inspiration is often in the eye of the beholder and ranges from spiritual to great beauty – but of course we have a Most Artistic category, too. Figuring out the correct category is not just a matter of taxonomy. It is also a matter of giving the nominated coin the best shot possible with the international panel of judges, which will select the Coin of the Year.

Other categories are Most Historically Significant and Best Contemporary Event. The former is history of 100 or more years ago, the latter is history of 99 years ago to the present.

Some categories are purely numismatic. I don’t expect noncollectors to appreciate the Best Crown category as collectors do. These are silver or similar looking base metal alloy coins of diameters of 37 millimeters to 45 millimeters. Basically these are coins that are a little smaller than a silver dollar to a little larger.

Best Bi-Metallic Coin recognizes the new ring technology best exemplified by the 1 and 2 euro coins first introduced in 2002 as well as coins from Mexico since 2003. Making coins with an outer ring of one metal with a center of a different metal has really established itself.

Then there is the Most Innovative category. Minting technology is not standing still. In fact it is moving ahead in an incredible fashion. This is the category that pushes the boundaries of what a coin is from those with scents and holograms to those of different shapes.

When the nominating panel has finished its work it will have filled 100 nominating slots. This will be followed by two rounds of judging, the first to determine category winners, the second to pick the Coin of the Year from among the 10 category winners.

Good luck to all world mints.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."