2021 ‘Coin of the Year’ winners unveiled

The winners of the 38th annual Coin of the Year (COTY) awards, honouring 2019-dated coins, were recently unveiled by the contest’s organizers.

The international awards program recognizes excellence and ingenuity in coin design. The first round of voting was completed on Feb. 5 after an international panel of judges whittled down a pool of 100 world coins – 10 in each of the 10 categories – nominated by a special COTY committee. The 10 winners will now compete for the top “Coin of the Year” honour.

The winners of each category include:

  • the Austrian Mint’s 25-euro bi-metallic (silver and niobium) coin, “Artificial Intelligence,” chosen as the Best Bi-Metallic Coin (for bi-metallic coins “composed of two metals which can be seen, generally one metal in an outer ring and one in the inner ring”);
  • the U.S. Mint’s $1 five-ounce silver coin, “50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing,” chosen as the Best Contemporary Event Coin (for coins commemorating events, institutions physical entities or individuals “deemed to be most important in terms of current or recent events influencing a people or mankind” since 1996);
  • the Monnaie de Paris’ 10-euro silver, gilt and rhodium coin, “Paris’ Treasures, City of Lights: Eiffel Tower,” chosen as the Best Crown Coin (for coins with an “all-around aesthetic and commercial appeal” plus a minimum diameter of 33 millimetres);
  • the German Mints’ two-euro bi-metallic coin, “30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” chosen as the Best Circulating Coin (for circulating monetary unit coins made of non-precious metals possessing an “all-around aesthetic and commercial appeal”);
  • the China Gold Coin Incorporation’s 100-yuan coin, “Gold Art of Chinese Calligraphy,” chosen as the Best Gold Coin (for coins struck in gold, platinum, palladium or another exotic precious metal with an “all-around aesthetic and commercial appeal”);
  • the U.S. Mint’s $1 five-ounce silver coin, “50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing,” chosen as the Best Silver Coin (for silver coins with an “all-around aesthetic and commercial appeal”);
  • the Monnaie de Paris’ 10-euro silver coin, “Fall of the Berlin Wall,” chosen as the Most Artistic Coin (determined solely on the value of the coin’s artistic merit);
  • the Austrian Mint’s 100-euro gold coin, “Magic of Gold: The Gold of Mesopotamia,” chosen as the Most Historically Significant Coin (for coins commemorating events, institutions, physical entities or individuals “deemed to be the most important in terms of the historical heritage of a people or mankind”);
  • NumisCollect’s $20 coin (for the Cook Islands), “Silver Meteorites: Chicxulub Crater,” chosen as the Most Innovative Coin (for coins containing “pioneering metallic alloys, non-typical coinage materials, planchet shapes, thickness, sizes, themes, distribution methods or other innovations”); and
  • the British Royal Mint’s 50-pence coin, “Silver Innovation in Science: Stephen Hawking,” chosen as the Most Inspirational Coin (for coins featuring themes, events, institutions, physical entities or individuals representing “peace, freedom and human rights”).

The Austrian Mint’s 2019-dated 25-euro silver and niobium coin, ‘Artificial Intelligence,’ was voted as the ‘Best Bi-Metallic Coin’ in the 2021 COTY contest.

Once the judges vote on the top “Coin of the Year,” organizers will host a virtual awards ceremony.

Despite eight nominations, the Royal Canadian Mint failed to win at least one of the 10 categories for the third consecutive year. From 2010-18, the Mint won at least one category – plus two in 2011 – in each of those nine yearly competitions.

The first COTY awards were handed out in 1984, when the judges voted on 1982 coins.

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