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Issuance of István Széchenyi commemorative coins


Budapest, 20. September 2016 - The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a silver collector coin with a face value of HUF 20,000 and its nonferrous metal version with a face value of HUF 2,000 to celebrate the 225th anniversary of István Széchenyi’s birth on 21 September 2016. The commemorative coins will be issued with an unusual face value and dimensions to reflect the description of Széchenyi written by Kossuth: the biggest silver commemorative coin (with a diameter of 52.5 mm) for „the greatest among Hungarians”. Another special feature of the commemorative coins is their uniquely reeded edge; the grouping of the reeds refers to the year István Széchenyi was born in lending context to the “third” side of the coin.

The collector coins are legal tender. Both coins have the same graphic design, with the value numeral being the only difference on the two denominations.

Széchenyi was the leading figure of the political fights in the Hungarian Reform Era, the first programme-giving personality of the bourgeois transformation. His name is associated with significant reform initiatives of the Hungarian economy and public life, transport, European relations, the development of sciences in the mother tongue, as well as sports. As the main motif the front features the building of Hungarian Academy of Sciences that was founded by Széchenyi. It also features a park and the image of an István Széchenyi statue created by József Engel in the foreground. The appearance of the statue on a coin is considered very rare. The compulsory design elements are also placed on the obverse: the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’, the value numerals ‘20,000 forint’ and ‘2000 forint’ the mint mark ‘BP.’ produced with special micro lettering as well as the mint year ‘2016’.

The reverse of the coin bears a representation of the half-figure portrait of István Széchenyi in the middle. It also features a part of the timetable for the first Hungarian railway line with the image of a steam locomotive above. The motif in the background refers to the fact that Széchenyi had the plans for the first railway system in Hungary developed as the Minister of Public Works and Transport in the Batthyány Government formed in 1848.

The inscription “ISTVÁN SZÉCHENYI WAS BORN 225 YEARS AGO” in the upper legend sheds light on the occasion of the commemorative coin issuance. The commemorative coin was designed by Mihály Fritz. His master mark is shown on the lower right edge of the reverse.

The silver coin with a face value of HUF 20,000 is struck in .925 fine silver and weighs 77.76 grams. The non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2,000 is produced from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%) and weighs 66.9 grams. Both cointypes have a diameter of 52.5 mm with a special edge uniquely reeded referring to the year of István Széchenyi’ birth.

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 20,000 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.

5,000 pieces can be made both of the silver collector coin with a face value of HUF 20,000 in proof finish and of the non-ferrous version but in BU finish.

The collector coins are distributed by the Hungarian Mint Ltd. and can be purchased from 21 September 2016 at the company’s coin shop (17 Hold u., distr. V, Budapest) and in the webshop on the company’s website (




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