30 April 2020
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a silver collector coin of exceptionally high denomination, with a face value of 30,000 forints entitled ‘30 Years of Freedom' on 2 May 2020, to honour the 30th anniversary of the first meeting of the National Assembly elected freely for the first time in Hungary. This collector coin and its 3,000-forint non-ferrous version aim to raise public awareness of the significance of the political transition in Hungary and the process of how a free, independent, democratic Hungary came into being. The collector coin was designed by the artist Balázs Bitó.
To honour the 30th anniversary of the political transition, the MNB will issue silver and non-ferrous metal collector coins of exceptionally large dimensions, with a diameter of 59.75 mm. The collector coin commemorates the entire peaceful process of political transition in Hungary, highlighting the most crucial events. The collector coin recalls that the unified political opposition, legitimised by mass demonstrations, struggled hard to achieve free elections through negotiations in 1989. As a result, the Hungarian Parliament was established on 2 May 1990 and the first Government of Hungary, led by József Antall, was formed. When the last Soviet solider left Hungary on 19 June 1991, the goals for which the heroes of 1956 sacrificed so much were finally realised, as Hungary became a free, independent and democratic country.
The ‘30 Years of Freedom’ collector coins are legal tender in Hungary, but they do not serve circulation purposes. Their primary role is to raise awareness and offer education. With this coin, the MNB seeks to highlight the significance of the political transition and the cornerstones of the establishment of a free, independent and democratic Hungary. The silver and the non-ferrous metal versions have the same design, the only difference being their denominations.
The central motif on the obverse of the coin stems from an iconic, 1989 election campaign poster by István Orosz, showing the new coat of arms crushing the old one which was valid before 11 July 1990, adapted to the coin’s design. The compulsory elements of collector coins are found in the outer ring on an elevated plane: in the upper legend the lettering ‘MAGYARORSZÁG' (Hungary), in the lower legend the denominations 30,000 FORINT and 3,000 FORINT also referring to the anniversary, to the left, on the horizontal middle line the mint mark ‘BP.’ containing a security element, and on the left the mint year, 2020.
Obverse of the ‘30 Years of Freedom’ collector coins
Silver collector coin
Non-ferrous metal collector coin
On the reverse, the upper field of the coin shows a symbolic scene: four young trees breaking through a brick wall, an allegory of the democratic efforts to break down the system of state socialism and tear it down altogether. The upper legend around the edge ‘30 ÉVE SZABADON’ (Thirty Years of Freedom) refers to the occasion of issuance. The master mark of Balázs Bitó, the coin’s designer, is located on the right, above the collapsing wall.
On an elevated plane, the legends below the central motif describe the process of political transition: an alliance of the opposition with strong social support achieved free elections to guarantee a democratic system, leading to Hungary’s independence. The texts mark the most significant stages and events of the political transition, with the key dates in nine lines, aligned centre, as follows:
‘EGYÜTT A SZABADSÁGÉRT' (TOGETHER FOR FREEDOM)
‘Közös ellenzéki demonstráció 1989. március 15.' (Joint Rally of the Opposition 15 March 1989)
‘Ellenzéki Kerekasztal' 1989. március 22. (Round Table Talks of the Opposition 22 March 1989)
‘SZABAD VÁLASZTÁSOK' (FREE ELECTIONS)
‘1990. március 25. és április 8.' (25 March and 8 April 1990)
‘FÜGGETLEN MAGYARORSZÁG' (INDEPENDENT HUNGARY)
‘Az utolsó szovjet katona' / ‘elhagyja az országot' / ‘1991. június 19.' (The last soldier of the Soviet army / leaves Hungary / 19 June 1991)
Reverse of the ‘30 Years of Freedom’ collector coins
Silver collector coin
Non-ferrous metal collector coin
Both collector coins have a diameter of 59.75 mm with a reeded edge. The silver coin with a face value of 30,000 forints is struck in .925 fine silver and the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of 3,000 forints is made of an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%). The silver coin weighs 93.31 grams and is produced in proof finish, while the non-ferrous metal coin weighs 100 grams and has a BU finish. The commemorative coins will be issued in quantities limited to 5,000 of the silver coins and 7,000 of the non-ferrous metal versions.
In order to promote the commemorative and educational role of these collector coins as widely as possible, the silver commemorative coin ‘30 Years of Freedom’ will be available for purchase for three months, while stocks last, and the non-ferrous metal version for one year from the first business day following the date of the issuance, at face value, via the distribution channels of Hungarian Mint Ltd., the producer and the distributor of the coins, starting from 4 May 2020. Due to the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the coins cannot be purchased in person at the coin shop of Hungarian Mint Ltd., but distribution continues at the webshop on the company’s website (https://www.penzvero.hu/).