Canadian Ghost Ship coin wins COTY’s Most Innovative

A Royal Canadian Mint 2022 five-ounce silver Canadian Ghost Ship coin has won the Coin of the Year (COTY) Award in the Most Innovative category.

The COTY program is an internationally conducted competition by World Coin News to recognize and encourage outstanding coin design and innovation worldwide. Sponsored by the World’s Fair of Money and The Journal of East Asian Numismatics, the program honours coins dated 2022 in 10 competition categories as decided by an international panel of judges. The awards were announced yesterday at the  World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Pa.

“The Mint is proud to have many award-winning coins to its name and earning a Coin of the Year award is a tremendous worldwide recognition of our innovation and manufacturing excellence,” said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Mint. “As tireless innovators, we are always looking for new and exciting ways to bring stories of Canada to life and it is very gratifying to see the black light-activated colour technology on our Canadian Ghost ship silver coin impress our industry peers as much as it does our customers.”

The dramatic artwork of artist Neil Hamelin illustrates the tale of the ghost ship, a haunting apparition of a three-masted ship whose sails appear to be ablaze. Fishermen of old on Canada’s east coast claim to have seen the vision and set out to sea in a rescue attempt, only to have the mysterious ship suddenly vanish. The glowing image of the ghost ship, emerging before fishermen setting out in a dory on a stormy night, is revealed when a black light is shined on the reverse of the silver coin.


An Austrian coin featuring the space phenomenon of a black hole has earned top honours in the 40th COTY Awards.

Austria’s Black Hole coin is a 20-euro silver piece with a convex/concave shape. On the obverse, a cone rises from the flat surface to represent the curvature of space-time. It bears the name and solar mass of the first-cited black hole, “CYGNUS X-1.” In German are the inscriptions “SINGULARITAT” meaning Singularity and “EREIGNISHORIZONT” meaning Event Horizon. On the reverse, a funnel shape illustrates a black hole vortex, accompanied by a color-printed spiral. It also includes the “Schwarzes Loch” inscription, German for Black Hole.

The coin is second in the Austrian Mint’s The Uncharted Universe series. There are three proof silver coins in this series, with each using shape and colour to illustrate astrological phenomena. The first coin was The Milky Way, which earned a trophy in the Most Innovative category in the last COTY competition. This time The Black Hole proved unbeatable in the Best Silver category, receiving 60 percent more votes than its closest competitor.

The race was much tighter regarding balloting for the overall winner.

“The final voting for the 40th Coin of the Year was one of the closest battles between two favoured coins we have ever witnessed,” said Tom Michael, COTY co-coordinator. “The lead was traded back and forth three times in the last three days of open balloting. In the end, The Black Hole coin of Austria secured its overall win and championship position by a single vote.”

Alongside The Black’s Hole’s Silver category and overall wins, an Austrian 25-euro silver-niobium coin, “Extraterrestrial Life,” won in the Best Bi-Metallic category. Colourful and eye-catching, the Austrian Mint’s silver-niobium coins are frequent winners in this category.

The COTY nominee selection process began with 500 coins from 50 countries, with a judging panel of 100 experts from around the world voting to determine 10 deserving coins in 10 categories of competition. That same panel then narrows it down to 10 finalists: the winner of each category. A final vote determines one of those ten coins earns top honours, the Coin of the Year.

“We began with 25 percent more coins and 50 percent more nominators this year and produced a head-turning array of wonderful coinage for the 40th COTY 100,” said Michael. “We’re pleased to honour the ten that rise to the top.”

“As we mark Coin of the Year’s 40-year milestone of honouring the best of the best in coins from around the world, we are excited to be celebrating with an in-person ceremony,” said Maggie Pahl, COTY co-coordinator. “We welcome the World’s Fair of Money as a new sponsor and look forward to holding our event in conjunction with one of the world’s premier numismatic shows for years to come.”

Below is a list of the 40th Coin of the Year category winners.





BEST CONTEMPORARY EVENT COIN: United Kingdom, 50 Pence, Cupro-Nickel and Color Printing.  50 Years of Pride.




BEST GOLD COIN: South Africa 50 Rand, Gold. The Lion, 2nd in the Big 5 II Series.




BEST SILVER COIN: Austria 20 Euro, Silver The Black Hole.




BEST CROWN COIN: Greece 10 Euro, Silver, The Antikythera Mechanism.




BEST CIRCULATING COIN:  Australia 2 Dollar, AlBr Honey Bee.




BEST BI-METALLIC COIN: Austria 25 Euro, Silver-Niobium, Extraterrestrial Life.




MOST ARTISTIC COIN Australia 5 Dollar, Silver:  Beauty, Rich and Rare – Great Barrier Reef.




MOST INSPIRATIONAL COIN: Ukraine 10 Hryvnia, Silver, In Unity, Strength.





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