To honour the 150th birthday of the creator of modern pharmaceutical industry in Hungary on 23 September 2022, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank will issue a special rectangular, non-ferrous metal collector coin named ‘Richter Gedeon’ which is tilted on its tip. The collector coins, with a face value of 2,000 forints, are available in proof and BU finish, and they were designed by applied artist Gábor Kereszthury.
Gedeon Richter began working as a pharmacist trainee in 1890, and in 1895 he graduated as a pharmacist from the Budapest University of Sciences (now ELTE). After completing his higher education, he gained both national and international experience in the field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical manufacturing. In 1901, he bought his first pharmacy in Budapest, where he produced organotherapeutic medicines. In 1907, he founded the pharmaceutical company that bore his name in Kőbánya, which soon became a leading international supplier of pharmaceuticals. One of the great successes of the factory was its antipyretic medicine patented in 1912. By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the company had already held 24 patents. The family business was transformed into a limited company in 1923. Building on his extensive international contacts, at the time of the World War II, the factory had a network of representative branches in 70 countries on five continents and ten foreign subsidiaries.
In recognition of his achievements, Gedeon Richter was awarded the title of Royal Counsellor to the Government of Hungary. By the 1930s, Richter Rt. had developed into one of the most significant foreign trade companies in Hungary.
However, the anti-Jewish laws of the years before World War II completely ruined his career. In 1942, he was deprived of his position as CEO and was only allowed to work as a consultant for his own company. In the autumn of 1944, manufacturing activity was almost completely paralysed. Although he could have fled abroad, he stayed in Budapest to protect the pharmaceutical factory, until he became a victim of violence against Jewish people.
On the obverse of the ‘Richter Gedeon’ collector coins, as a central motif, a top view of the chemical factory, founded by a pharmacist, is seen. Tilted on its tip, the composition is complemented by the lettering ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ (Hungary) in a semi-circular legend above the representation of the factory, set in art nouveau typeface, referring to the age. Below, in two lines the denomination ‘2000’ and the inscription ‘FORINT’ are seen. At the top right of the central motif is the logo on the original box of Kalmopyrin, developed by Richter Gedeon and marketed from 1912, with the mint year ‘2022’ and the mint mark ‘BP.’ stamp to its left.
The obverse of the Richter Gedeon collector coin
The reverse features a half-length portrait of the elderly Gedeon Richter, with the birth and death dates of the pharmacist "1872-1944" and the inscription "RICHTER GEDEON" in two lines to the right. The master mark of applied artist Gábor Kereszthury, the designer of the coin is found to the left of the portrait.
The reverse of the Richter Gedeon collector coin
Weighing 14 grams, the non-ferrous metal collector coins were produced from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%), they are 28.43 x 28.43 mm in size, with smooth edges. A total of 30,000 collector coins can be produced: 23,000 pieces in proof finish, 7,000 pieces in BU finish.
In order to promote the role of these collector coins to transfer value and raise awareness as widely as possible, the non-ferrous metal coin of 2,000 forints will be available for purchase for one year, while stocks last, at face value in the webshop (https://www.penzvero.hu/) and coin shop of the Hungarian Mint Ltd. (Budapest, distr. V, 7 Báthory street), the producer and the distributor of the coins, starting from 23 September 2022.