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Commemorative coin issuance to track Hungarian scientists, inventors - János Irinyi was born 200 years ago


Budapest, 18 May 2017The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2000 on 18 May 2017 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of János Irinyi, the chemist who patented the noiseless and non-explosive match. The special, rectangular collector coin is the 11th piece of the popular commemorative coin-series presenting technical novelties and inventions of Hungarian engineers, inventors. Through microlettering and a laser finish producing a rainbow effect, technical novelties render this coin special.

The János Irinyi commemorative coin is Hungarian legal tender, although they have not been minted for circulation purposes. The obverse of the coin features the dotted pattern of the striking strip located on the side of the matchbox, which is igniting a non-explosive match, an invention of Irinyi’s most widely used today.

On the special coin minted using the proof technology the flame of the match appears in the colours of the rainbow when moved in natural light. This is the first time the rainbow effect has been featured on a commemorative coin issued in Hungary.

The compulsory design elements of coins are placed on the obverse: the value numeral ‘2,000 FORINT’, the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’, the mint year 2017, as well as the mint mark ‘BP.’, which is visible only when magnified ten times, that also contains a micro sized safety feature, offering protection against the counterfeiting of the commemorative coins.

On the reverse side the portrait of János Irinyi, one of the most gifted Hungarian chemists, is depicted. Above that, the inscription ‘IRINYI JÁNOS’ is shown with his dates of birth and death next to it (1817 – 1895). Mostly, it is Irinyi’s work done on the match that is common knowledge, as he was the first to take out a patent on the noiseless and non-explosive match; he was also among the first who advocated the spread of the new approach to chemistry. He also played a key role in the creation of chemistry terms. As a nobleman displaying a strong feeling of patriotism he took part in revolutionary movements, it was him who completed the wording of the famous 12 points of the Hungarian Revolutionaries in 1848. He played an active role in the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence in 1848-1849.

The technical novelty featured on the reverse side was also inspired by Irinyi’s most widely known invention: the structure of his clothing is made up of the repeated inscription “200 ÉVE SZÜLETETT A ROBBANÁSMENTES GYUFA SZABADALMAZTATÓJA” in micro lettering.

The commemorative coin was designed by applied artist and goldsmith Zoltán Endrődy. His master mark is also shown on the reverse side of the coin.



The rectangular coin is minted from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%). It weighs 14 grams and it is 28.43 mm in size and has a smooth edge. The commemorative coins are issued in limited edition: a total of 10,000 coins will be minted: 6,000 in proof, and 4,000 in BU.

To facilitate the enforcement of the coins' value transferring and educational role as widely as possible the János Irinyi commemorative coin can be purchased without time constraint, subject to availability, at the face value from 18 May 2017 onwards at the coin shop of Hungarian Mint Ltd. (Budapest, distr. V, 7 Báthory street) and in the webshop on the company’s website(

Magyar Nemzeti Bank

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