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Stephen I of Hungary collector coin

The MNB’s 2021 collector coin issuance programme kicks off with the most valuable piece in the series


8 January 2021

The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a collector coin on 11 January 2021 to honour the founder of the Hungarian state, Stephen I of Hungary. The gold coin with a face value of 500,000 forints will be issued in particularly limited edition. To fulfil an educational role, a greater number of the silver version of 15,000 forints and the non-ferrous metal version of 3,000 forints will also be issued. The issuance marks the start of a new collector coin series featuring sovereigns seeking to establish Hungary from the Árpád dynasty. The series aims to bring closer the different emphases in historical studies and historical awareness. Based on authentic source motifs, the coin was designed by goldsmith Zoltán Tóth.

The first collector coin issuance in 2021 features a piece, highest in value in the Programme. The gold collector coin with exceptionally high face value and its silver and non-ferrous metal versions have been minted to honour the founder of the Hungarian state, Stephen I of Hungary, and they also part of a new collector coin series. The purpose of this series named ‘Sovereigns Seeking to Establish Hungary from the Árpád Dynasty' is to present the most significant kings from the Árpád Dynasty. Without prejudice to historical authenticity, the series will be focusing on ten sovereigns, and the Bank will issue a new piece every other year as preliminary plans suggest.

The Stephen I of Hungary collector coins are legal tender in Hungary; however, they do not serve circulatory purposes. Primarily, they are a means to educate focusing on our first king’s major achievements during his reign. The gold, the silver and the non-ferrous metal versions have the same design, the only difference being their denominations in addition to the material they are made of.

On the obverse of the coin, positioned in the middle, a representation is shown inspired by the reverse of Stephen I of Hungary’s denar bearing the lettering ‘Lancea Regis'. This is surrounded by ten crosses. The design can be interpreted as a church, which refers to the tasks that Stephen I of Hungary assumed as the founder of Hungary and the Church, amidst his activities as a coin issuer. The crosses also refer to the most significant result of Stephen I of Hungary’s reign: establishing the Hungarian Church consisting of ten dioceses. On the upper side of the collector coin, in a legend the lettering ‘MAGYARORSZÁG' is seen, the denominations ‘500,000', ‘15,000' and ‘3 000' with the wording ‘FORINT' are placed on the bottom side. The mint year ‘2021’ is found on the left and the mint mark ‘BP’ is featured on the right. A special security feature is also included in the mint mark: a micro-lettering is placed on it displaying identical letters as the ones in the mint mark, which is only visible when magnified at least ten times.

The obverse of the Stephen I of Hungary collector coins

Gold collector coin

Silver collector coin

Non-ferrous metal collector coin


As a central motif, the reverse of the coin features a representation of a segment from the coronation robe, originally made to be worn as a vestment in 1031, which shows Stephen I of Hungary. The only surviving representation of Stephen I of Hungary is found on the coronation robe from his time, depicting the king wearing a crown and holding a globus cruciger in his left hand and a symbol of power and kingdom, a spear in his right hand. On the lower edge of the coin, the lettering ‘SZENT ISTVÁN KIRÁLY' (King Stephen I of Hungary) is shown in a legend. To the left of the representation, the numbers ‘1000' and ‘1038' is seen in two horizontal lines below one another, making a reference to the time when Stephen I of Hungary reigned. The master mark of the coin designer goldsmith, Zoltán Tóth is seen on the right.

The reverse of the Stephen I of Hungary collector coins

Gold collector coin

Silver collector coin

Non-ferrous metal collector coin


All three collector coins are of the same diameter, 34 mm, the edges are smooth with an inscription. On the smooth edges, the name from the Pannonhalma Charter, issued in 1001, the words ‘STEFANUS SUPERNA PROVIDENTE CLEMENTIA UNGRORUM REX ?' i.e. Stephen, King of Hungarians by the grace of the Heavenly, Provident Father, is placed. The collector coin with a face value of 500,000 forints is struck in .999 fine gold and weighs 31.104 grams (1 ounce). The silver coin with a face value of 15,000 forints is struck in .999 fine silver and similarly to the gold version, it weighs 31.104 grams. The non-ferrous metal coin of 3000 forints is produced from an alloy of copper (90%) and zinc (10%) and it weighs 23.40 grams. The mintage limits of both the gold and silver collector coin in proof finish are 500 and 5,000, respectively. 5,000 pieces of the non-ferrous metal version can be made in a bronze coated finish.

The collector coins are produced and distributed by the Hungarian Mint Ltd.

In order to promote the commemorative and educational role of these collector coins as widely as possible, the ‘Stephen I of Hungary’ silver collector coin will be available for purchase at face value for three months, while stocks last, and the non-ferrous metal version of 3,000 forints for one year in the coin shop of Hungarian Mint Ltd. (Budapest, distr. V, 7 Báthory street) and its webshop ( starting from 11 January 2021. Purchases of gold collector coins will be coordinated through a draw before a notary public, by the Hungarian Mint Ltd.



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