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Collector coins to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice Ending World War I


The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a silver collector coin named ‘The End of World War I’ with a face value of HUF 10,000 and its non-ferrous metal version with a face value of HUF 2,000 on 16 October 2018 within the framework of International Scientific Conference entitled ‘The Military Collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and its Consequences’ organised by the Museum of Military History. By issuing the collector coin the MNB will pay homage to the heroic efforts and the sacrifice made by Hungarian soldiers on the anniversary marking the end of the Great War. As a technical novelty hitherto not applied to forint collector coins, the non-ferrous metal collector coin will be tarnished by machine in a special metallic coloured finish to highlight the mood of the thematic scheme.

From 1914 to 1918 World War I claimed more than 15 million lives. Although the assassination in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of the war, the underlying cause was the fight for the redistribution of the colonies and territorial interests of the time.

The fighting techniques changed due to the new weapons used during the war (machine-guns, hand grenades, mortars, quick-firing guns): trench warfare evolved only a couple of months after the war started, and the frontlines became fixed. Airplanes, tanks and chemical (gas) weapons were first deployed in battlefields of the Great War. By the end of the war the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had fallen to pieces and even the illusion of the German territorial gains had vanished. At the end of the war Hungary was allied with the losing side, the Central Powers and ended the war by signing the Armistice of Villa Giusti on November 1918, and the Belgrade Pact on 13 November 1918. Hungary gained its independence and the first Hungarian Republic was proclaimed on 16 November 1918.

The ‘End of World War I’ commemorative coins are legal tender in Hungary, but they do not serve circulatory purposes. Primarily, they are a means to commemorate and pay tribute to the victims of the war. The silver and the non-ferrous metal versions have the same design, the only difference being their denominations.

The dominant design element on the obverse is a fraction of a world map with Europe as the centre, which features stars and settlement names in boxes where the most significant battles took place involving Hungarian soldiers. The conflicting powers and the neutral countries are differentiated by three specific surface marking on the mint. To facilitate the comprehension of the map the coin features the lettering ‘MAGYAR KATONÁK A NAGY HÁBORÚBAN’ (Hungarian soldiers in the Great War) in a box placed in the inner ring. The compulsory design elements of collector coins are in the outer ring: the lettering MAGYARORSZÁG in the upper arc, the denominations 10,000 and 2,000 FORINT in the lower arc, the BP. mint mark and the mint year 2018 on the centre line of the coin.

The outer ring structure also appears on the reverse of the coins. As the central motif on the reverse, a scene in the trenches is shown depicting the trench warfare, the tragedy of war, the heroism and comradery of the soldiers; features that were so typical of World War I. The trenches are positioned as a cross which also suggests paying tribute. To the right of the representation Bitó Balázs’s master mark is shown, a goldsmith’s, who designed the collector coin.

In the outer ring the legend ‘100 ÉVE ÉRT VÉGET AZ ELSŐ VILÁGHÁBORÚ’ (World War I ended 100 years ago) is featured, while in the lower legend the years 1918 - 2018 are shown. For this coin a security feature in micro lettering also provides protection against counterfeiting: the ‘BP.’ mint mark in micro lettering is repeated in both dots separating the upper and lower legend, four times per dot - visible only when magnified at least ten times.

Both collector coins are 37 mm in diameter. Their edge is reeded. The coin with a face value of HUF 10,000 is struck in 925‰ silver and the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of HUF 2,000 is made from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%). The collector coins are issued in limited edition: 3000 pieces can be made of the 24-gram silver coin in proof, while 10,000 can be minted of the 23.7-gram non-ferrous metal version in special finish tarnished by machine.

To promote the coins' value transferring and educational role as widely as possible the silver collector coin issued on the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I can be purchased for three months and the non-ferrous metal version for a year at their face value at the coin shop of Hungarian Mint Ltd. (Budapest, distr. V, 7 Báthory street) and in the webshop on the company’s website ( from 16 October 2018.

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