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New member of the Mediaeval Hungarian gold florins series – ’Gold florin of Sigismund’ collector coin

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Budapest, 13 July 2016 – On 14 July 2016, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a gold collector coin ‘Gold florin of Sigismund’ with a face value of HUF 50,000 in normal and piedfort size, which is four times the weight of the standard coin. The coin is the most valuable piece of this year’s issuance programme. A non-ferrous metal version of the coin will also be issued. All three coins will be part of the Mediaeval Hungarian gold florins series, launched in 2012. The collector coins were designed by Tamás E. Soltra.

All three collector coins are legal tender. They have the same design, with the only difference being the value numeral on the non-ferrous metal version. The main motif on the obverse is the shield, encircled by a string of beads, taken from the gold florins issued by King Sigismund. The first appearance of the quartered, per pale and per fess shields on the obverse represented an innovation in the history of gold florins. On the shield, Hungarian bars were alternated with the Brandenburg Eagle, referring to both the country and the ruling dynasty. The compulsory design elements: the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ in an upper legend, the value numerals ‘50000’ and ‘2000’ in a lower legend and the inscription ‘FORINT’ as well as the upper and lower legend separated by the mint mark ‘BP’ on the left and the mint year ‘2016’ on the right also appear on the obverse.

The use of a security feature on the obverse of the collector coins is a novelty of the 2016 coin programme. The letters ‘B’ and ‘P’, incorporated into the mint mark of the Hungarian Mint (BP.) in micro lettering, are invisible to the unaided eye and are perceivable only when magnified at least ten times, and as a security feature they serve to protect the commemorative coins against counterfeiting.

On the reverse of the collector coins, the back of the gold florin issued during the latter part of King Sigismund’s coinage is represented as a main motif. It shows King Saint Ladislaus standing with an axe in his right hand and the orb in his left hand as well as the letters M–O, the symbol of Mikes Jemnisti, Chamber Count of Buda, on both sides. The symbols on both sides of Saint Ladislaus on the reverse, which may have been either letters or coats of arms, referred to the place of the mint and to the chamber count responsible for coinage. This marked the beginning of the Hungarian system of mint marks and designer’s marks during the reign of Sigismund. Due to the Arabian number 13 at the feet of Ladislaus, the gold florin represented on the collector coin was a special coin. Probably, the number is an issue mark, as some issues were marked with Arabian numbers, but further research is needed into this field to solve the meaning of the numbers.

The reverse bears the inscription ‘ZSIGMOND •1387–1437’ in an upper legend, referring to the name of the monarch and his reign, separated by a dot, and the inscription ‘ARANYFORINTJA’ in a lower legend. The upper and lower legends are separated on the right by the small-sized mark of designer Tamás E. Soltra.

The gold coin with a face value of HUF 50,000 is struck in .986 fine gold. The normal coin weighs 3.491 grams (1 ducat) and the piedfort coin weighs 13.964 grams (4 ducats). The non-ferrous metal coin is produced from an alloy of copper (75%), nickel (4%) and zinc (21%) and weighs 2.7 grams. The edge of the normal and piedfort gold coins is smooth. The piedfort version is decorated with the Latin inscription ‘† SIGISMVNDI • D • G • R • VNGARIE’ on the edge, meaning ‘of Sigismund, king of Hungary by the grace of God’. All three coins have the same diameter of 20 mm.

From 2014, all collector coins produced from precious metals will also be issued in low-cost versions made from non-ferrous metals. In order for collector coins to play their role as a store of value, the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2,000 can be purchased at a price equal to its face value without a time limit, until stocks last.

The mintage limit of the standard size collector coin is 2,000 and that of the piedfort coin is 500 in proof finish. The mintage limit of the non-ferrous coin is 5,000 in BU finish.

The coins are distributed by the Hungarian Mint Ltd. They will be on sale from 14 July 2016 at the coin shop of the Mint (17 Hold utca, Budapest) and in the Mint’s webshop (http://penzvero.hu/), where a number of collector coins produced from gold, silver and non-ferrous metals issued earlier are also on sale.The mintage limit of the silver coin with a face value of HUF 10,000 is 5,000 in proof finish and that of the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2,000 is 10,000 in BU finish.

The coins are distributed by the Hungarian Mint Ltd. They will be on sale from 11 July 2016 at the coin shop of the Mint (17 Hold utca, Budapest) and in the Mint’s webshop (http://penzvero.hu/), where a number of collector coins produced from gold, silver and non-ferrous metals issued earlier are also on sale.

 
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