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Commemorative coin issuance to mark the 150th anniversary of the Budapest Zoo


Budapest, 8 August 2016 – The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue special, vertical rectangular silver and brass commemorative coins with a face value of HUF 10,000 and HUF 2,000, respectively on 9 August 2016 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden. The Budapest Zoo, the first zoo in Hungary, was opened on 9 August 1866. The institution has been deservedly proud of its livestock of diversified species, unrivalled propagation programme and its historic buildings ever since. This is represented by the "Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden" commemorative coins in a complex way, which also contains security features made in special microlettering.

The commemorative coins are legal tender. Both commemorative coins are issued with identical design, with the exception of the numerals depending on the face value. The front features a swimming Eastern white pelican, an indigenous bird of the Carpathian Basin, with one of the emblematic buildings of the Zoo – the Australia House (the former Aviary) designed by Károly Kós – in the background. The front also features the silhouette of a pelican sitting on a naked tree. The mandatory design elements are also on the front: the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’, the 10,000 and 2,000 numerals, the inscription ‘FORINT’, the mint mark ‘BP.’ as well as the year of issue ‘2016’.

A novelty introduced this year in the issuance of commemorative coins is the security features appearing in the mint mark: The ‘B’ and ‘P’ letters in microlettering on the mint mark are indiscernible, they are visible only when magnified at least ten times. They also offer protection against the counterfeiting of the commemorative coins. 

The back of the coin features a Southern white rhinoceros and her calf, facing each other, referring to the outstanding successes achieved by the Zoo in its propagation programme, as a result of which the first rhinoceros calf conceived through artificial insemination was born in Hungary. The background of the back features the Big Cliff of the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden (the work of sculptors Gyula Benke and Josef Botti, and engineer Gyula Végh). The inscription “150 ÉVES AZ ÁLLATKERT” in the upper part of the back and the years 1866-2016 in the lower part refer to the 150th anniversary of the Zoo. The signature mark of the designer, Gábor Kereszthury, is in the lower left corner of the coin.

The commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 10,000 is made of silver of Ag .925 fineness, and weighs 31.46 g. The non-ferrous metal variation with a face value of HUF 2,000 is a brass (75%) and nickel (25%) alloy, and weighs 27 g. The size of the two coin variations is identical, a 39.6*26.4 mm vertical rectangle. The edge of the commemorative coin is smooth.

Since 2014 the MNB has issued all precious metal commemorative coins in a cheaper, non-ferrous metal variation as well. To facilitate the enforcement of the coins' value transferring and educational role as widely as possible, the silver commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 10,000 can be purchased for three months after the issuance, while the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2,000 can be purchased without time constraint, subject to availability, at the face value.

3,000 pieces can be made of the silver commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 10,000 in proof finish, while 10,000 pieces of the HUF 2,000 coin in BU finish.

The commemorative coins are distributed by the Hungarian Mint Ltd., and can be purchased from 9 August 2016 at the company’s coin shop (17 Hold u., distr. V, Budapest) and in the webshop on the company’s website (, where a variety of formerly issued gold, silver and non-ferrous metal commemorative coins are also available.

Magyar Nemzeti Bank

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