In honour of Imre Kertész, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a silver collector coin with a face value of 7,500 forints and its non-ferrous metal version of 2,000 forints on the writer’s birthday to mark the 20th anniversary of his receiving the Nobel Prize. Imre Kertész (1929 -2016), Hungarian writer and translator, was the first Hungarian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002 for his ‘literary work, advocating the vulnerable experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history’. The ‘Imre Kertész’ collector coins are special in their oval shape and are the 7th addition in a thematic series of coins depicting Nobel Prize winners of Hungarian origin. The coin was designed by applied artist, István Holló. The coins will be issued at a ceremony in the Imre Kertész Institute.

Imre Kertész (1929-2016) was the first Hungarian writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature on 10 October 2002. According to the Swedish Academy, ‘Kertész's uncompromising viewpoint is clearly recognizable in his style, which is like a beautiful hawthorn bush: compact and prickly to the careless visitor. In doing so, however, it relieves the reader of the burden of compulsory emotions and lures them towards a special freedom of thought.’

Offering a study of dictatorship, he wrote his first novel, Sorstalanság (Fateless), over a period of thirteen years from 1960 onwards. However, the book was not published until 1975, and remained almost unnoticed until the political transition in Hungary. His works have been in the centre of national and international attention since the 1990s.

His oeuvre is outstanding in the genres of fiction, essays and diaries, and his books are now available in dozens of languages. His work was rewarded with numerous international awards, and he also received the most prestigious honours from Hungary, first the Kossuth Prize and later the Order of St. Stephen.

The Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a silver collector coin with a face value of 7,500 forints named ‘Kertész Imre’ and its non-ferrous metal version of 2,000 forints to mark the 20th anniversary of his winning the Nobel Prize. Following the Albert Szent-Györgyi, the Jenő Wigner, the Róbert Bárány, the Richárd Zsigmondy, the György Hevesy and the György Békésy coins, these special, oval-shaped collector coins are added as the seventh piece in the series presenting Hungarian Nobel Prize winners which was launched in 2012.

The primary role of the coins to honour Imre Kertész, is to raise awareness, educate and pay tribute with no role in cash circulation. The silver and non-ferrous metal coins have the same design, with their denominations being the only difference.

The central motif on the obverse is an abstract, linear depiction of the allegory of soaring freedom which is the definition of Kertész's literary work. On the obverse, the compulsory design elements of collector coins are found: the denominations ‘7500’ and ‘2000’ the lettering ‘FORINT’, on the bottom left, following the bend of the edge, the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ (Hungary) and in two lines the mint year ‘2022’ and the mint mark ‘BP.’.

The obverse of the ‘Imre Kertész’ collector coins

Silver collector coin

Non-ferrous metal collector coin 


The reverse shows a half-length portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning writer and translator with his emblematic hat and scarf, complemented by the signature of Imre Kertész and the inscription ‘NOBEL PRIZE ? 2002’ in two lines to the left of the portrait. On the bottom right of the portrait the master mark of applied artist István Holló is seen, who designed the coin.

A „Kertész Imre” megnevezésű emlékérmék hátlapja

Silver collector coin

Non-ferrous metal collector coin 


Similarly to the other pieces in the series, both collector coins are oval-shaped with centrelines of 30x25 mm, their edges are smooth. The coin with a face value of 7,500 forints was struck in 925‰ silver and the non-ferrous metal coin with a face value of 2,000 forints was produced from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%). The silver coin weighing 12.5 grams was made in proof finish and the non-ferrous metal coin weighing 10.3 grams was minted in BU finish. The collector coins are issued in limited edition: 4,000 pieces can be made of each.

In order to promote the role of these collector coins to transfer value and raise awareness as widely as possible, the silver coin ‘Imre Kertész’ will be available for purchase for three months, while stocks last, and the non-ferrous version for one year from the date of issuance, at face value in the webshop ( and coin shop of the Hungarian Mint Ltd. (Budapest, distr. V, 7 Báthory street), the producer and the distributor of the coins, starting from 9 November 2022.