Tokyo skyline, including Tokyo Tower in red at far left. (Wikimedia photo by Tokyoship)
Niue Island and the New Zealand Mint have released the “Great Cities” collection’s fifth coin, which features Japan’s dynamic capital city, Tokyo. (The previous cities featured were Copenhagen, Shanghai, London, and New York.) Originally a small fishing village known as Edo, the growing city became the nation’s political center in 1603; its name was changed to Tokyo (tō, meaning “east,” and kyō, meaning “capital”) after the arrival of the emperor in 1868. It is now the world’s most populous metropolis, home to more than 13 million people.
Tokyo’s “Skytree,” photographed while under construction in 2011. (Hover to zoom; Wikimedia photo by Tokyoship)
Each 1-ounce fine silver “Great Cities” coin has a contemporary-style design that sets notable buildings from each city against a Proof-quality background. This fifth coin highlights the towering Tokyo Skytree, along with other notable buildings in the capital city’s skyline.
(Hover to zoom.)
The reverse of the coin depicts several of the highest buildings in Toykyo. In the foreground is a close view of the Skytree’s “main pod”; in the background behind the Skytree, the tallest structures are the Shinjuku Park Tower (at left), the Tokyo Tower (center), and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (right). Clouds fill the deep background behind the buildings. In the exergue below the cityscape is the word TOKYO; at upper right, in small letters, are the weight, metal, and fineness, as 1 oz 999 Fine Silver.
The obverse depicts the standard effigy of HM Elizabeth II as designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, with his initials, IRB, below the base of the neck. Surrounding the effigy is the legend ELIZABETH II NIUE TWO DOLLARS, with 2017 below.
|$2||.999 silver||1 oz.||40 mm||Proof||3,000|
“Tokyo Skytree” is available from June 13. Each coin is encased in an elegant themed box that slides open to reveal the coin, which is enclosed in a clear capsule and fitted into a black-velvet interior. A numbered certificate of authenticity is included. Please see the website of the New Zealand Mint for more information on the coin and the series, or to place an order. ❑
The second release in the Beatrix Potter 2017 Collection features Mr. Jeremy Fisher—the first time the character has appeared on an official U.K. coin. The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, the eighth of Potter’s little tales, follows the frog in his waterproof mackintosh and galoshes through a day of fishing adventures.
Once upon a time there was a frog called Mr. Jeremy Fisher; he lived in a little damp house amongst the buttercups at the edge of a pond.
The water was all slippy-sloppy in the larder and in the back passage.
But Mr. Jeremy liked getting his feet wet; nobody ever scolded him, and he never caught a cold!
Jeremy may come home without his galoshes, or the minnows he set out to catch, but he is relieved not to end up as a trout’s dinner!
Like previous coins in the series, Mr. Jeremy Fisher is available in two versions: a Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel coin and a silver Proof coin with added color. The .925 sterling silver coin showcases how effective color printing can be. The tiniest details, like Jeremy’s smart jacket and shovel, have been highlighted by the technique, and enhanced by the coin’s Proof finish.
The reverse depicts Jeremy himself, in profile to the left, gripping the handle of a shovel with which he is about to dig up some worms for fishing. The legend, MR. JEREMY FISHER, reads counterclockwise from lower left around the main design. The initials en, for designer Emma Noble, appear at lower right, just below Jeremy’s elbow.
The obverse depicts the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Jody Clark, whose initials, J.C., appear below the base of the neck. The surrounding legend, including the date of issue, reads clockwise from the top: ELIZABETH II • DEI • GRA • REG • FID • DEF • 2017.
|50 pence||Copper-nickel||8 g||27.3 mm||Brilliant Unc.||To demand|
|50 pence||.925 silver||8 g||27.3 mm||Proof with applied color||30,000|
The Proof coin comes in a clear acrylic presentation case with a booklet on the famous frog and his adventures. The BU coin is enclosed in a fold-out case with designs inspired by Potter’s watercolor illustrations, including more details about Jeremy’s tale. The coins in the Beatrix Potter 2017 Collection are endorsed by Frederick Warne & Co. (a Penguin Random House company).
For more information on these and other coins in the Beatrix Potter 2017 Collection, please visit the website of the Royal Mint. ❑
This post incorporates a press release courtesy of the Royal Mint.
Siege of Yorktown, by Auguste Gouder. (Wikimedia photo)
Niue Island has launched a brand-new coin collection titled “Battles That Changed History,” which highlights legendary military battles that had historic repercussions. The “Battle of Yorktown” 1-ounce, legal-tender silver coin, released today (June 8), is the first issue in the collection.
Hover to zoom.
The reverse of the coin depicts American troops capturing a British gun during the 1781 battle. The antiqued finish is well suited to the subject matter and enhances the sense of depth in the design. In the foreground to the right stands a three-quarter-length figure of the battle leader, General George Washington, who faces the viewer with his head turned slightly toward the center of the coin, a scroll in his right hand, a handkerchief and a riding crop in his left. The effigy of Washington is fully colorized in muted, historical tones. The legend at the top of the field reads YORKTOWN • 1781. At the bottom, in smaller type, are the weight, metal, and fineness, as 1 oz 999 FINE SILVER.
Hover to zoom.
The obverse of the coin bears the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Ian Rank-Broadly, with his initials, IRB, in small letters below the base of the neck. Reading clockwise from lower left is the legend ELIZABETH II NIUE TWO DOLLARS, with the date of issue, 2017, at the bottom of the field. The coin’s edge is reeded.
|$2||.999 silver||1 oz.||40 mm||Antiqued, with applied color||5,000|
Each coin is presented in an antique-looking timber box that opens to reveal the coin nested in a black-velvet interior with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The themed outer box features a black line-art illustration of the battle imposed over an antiqued paper texture. Please see the website of the New Zealand Mint for more information on the Battle of Yorktown 1-ounce silver coin, or to place an order.
The Battle of Yorktown
In the autumn of 1781, General George Washington’s forces, supported by the French army and navy, besieged General Lord Charles Cornwallis’s veteran British army, who were dug in at Yorktown, Virginia. After round-the-clock cannon and artillery bombardment, the British situation began to deteriorate rapidly, and Cornwallis surrendered on October 17.
The Battle of Yorktown proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War. Replacing Cornwallis’s captured army was a questionable proposition for the British. With support for the war eroded, peace negotiations began the following year. The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, formally bringing an end to the Revolutionary War and establishing the United States of America as a free and independent country. In 1789, George Washington became the first president of the United States. ❑
The government of Tuvalu, in conjunction with the Perth Mint, has released a new silver collector coin honoring the 1984 blockbuster comedy Ghostbusters. Called “Ghostbusters Crew,” the coin contains 1 ounce of .9999 fine silver.
Hover to zoom.
The reverse of the coin, designed by Thomas Vaughan, depicts Drs. Spengler, Stantz, and Venkman as they appeared in Ghostbusters, against a backdrop of New York City and a lurid green sky. The scientists are in battle mode, lugging their proton packs—particle accelerators on their backs, Neutrona Wands in their hands, ready to send streams of protons to snare the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (not visible). The cityscape is in silver; the rest of the design, including the “no ghost” logo behind the scientists and the word GHOSTBUSTERS below, is colorized.
The obverse depicts the traditional Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The surrounding inscriptions are QUEEN ELIZABETH II (at top), 1 oz 9999 Ag 2017 (at lower left), and TUVALU 1 DOLLAR (at lower right).
|$1||.9999 silver||31.107 g||40.6 mm||Proof with applied color||5,000|
Each coin is presented in a black-and-green, themed display case featuring the words WHO YA GONNA CALL? around the edge, within a themed shipper, and is accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. The coins are available directly from the Perth Mint.
Who ya gonna call?
Released in 1984, Ghostbusters is an American supernatural comedy film that follows the story of three doctors working in the Paranormal Studies Department of Columbia University in New York. After being fired for their unreliable and suspect findings, research, and methods, the three decide to start their own business specializing in paranormal investigations and eliminations. They call themselves the “Ghostbusters.”
Together, Dr. Ray Stantz, Dr. Peter Venkman, and Dr. Egon Spengler set up shop in an abandoned firehouse in New York City. They eventually stumble upon a gateway to another dimension that will wreak havoc on the metropolis, and they set about attempting to save Manhattan from mass destruction.
Venkman: …This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath-of-God type stuff!
Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes!
Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Venkman: Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!
Ghostbusters was a critical and commercial success and launched a popular media franchise that included a sequel released in 1989 called Ghostbusters II. ❑
The “Compromise of 1867,” which describes one of the most important events in the history of modern Hungary, is a catch-all term used for the agreements that reestablished the political, legal, and economic relations between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary at the beginning of 1867. It was negotiated between the head of the house of Hapsburg, King Franz Joseph I, and a Hungarian delegation headed by Ferenc Deák and Gyula Andrássy.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the compromise, the National Bank of Hungary is issuing Hungary’s largest coins: a 20,000-forint silver and a 2,000-forint copper-nickel. Both commemorative coins are 52.5 millimeters (2.07″) in diameter, and the mintage for each version is limited to 5,000 pieces. The 20,000-forint, .925 silver coin is struck in Proof quality and weighs 77.76 grams. The 2,000-forint copper-nickel coin is in Uncirculated quality and weighs 66.9 grams. The coins were designed by István Kósa.
The two versions have identical designs, both presented on clean, plain fields. At the left of the obverse is a right-facing portrait of Ferenc Deák inspired by the work of Ede Telcs (scroll down to see an original bas-relief likeness by Telcs). The portrait partially overlaps a small Hapsburg coat of arms at the center, which is linked with the larger coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hungary to the right. Ferenc Deák’s name appears in tiny letters around the lower border of the portrait, and his famous quote, JOBBAN TUDOM SZERETNI A HAZÁT, MINT GYÜLÖLNI ELLENSÉGEINKET (“I am more able to love my homeland, than to hate my enemies”), appears around the lowermost edge of the field, below MAGYARORSZÁG (Hungary) in larger letters. The denomination, 2000 / FORINT, appears in two lines above the main design, with the date, 2017, just below. A beaded border surrounds all but the lowermost portion of the obverse.
The reverse elements are placed in a mirror image of the obverse elements. Right-facing, jugate portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Franz Joseph I are at the right of the field, partially overlapping a small coat of arms of the house of Hapsburg at the center, which in turn is linked to the larger Austrian coat of arms at the left. Their names appear in tiny letters around the lower border of the portrait, with the word KIEGYEZÉS (Compromise) in large letters at the bottom. Within an oval, sun-like device above the main design, the year of the compromise (1867) and the year of minting (2017) are located one above the other, with the last digit of these two years sharing a large numeral 7, emphasizing the occasion of this commemorative coin. As on the obverse, a beaded border surrounds all but the lowermost portion of the coin.
This and other coins of Hungary are available from the Hungarian Mint’s North American representative, Coin & Currency Institute, and other fine retailers.
The Historic Compromise of 1867
Plaque honoring Ferenc Deák, by Ede Telcs. (Wikimedia photo)
In the spring of 1848, the revolution that succeeded in Austria and Hungary resulted in the abolition of feudal relations in the Hapsburg Empire and a shift toward a more modern society. However, after the Hungarian revolution was suppressed in 1849, the Austrians attempted to move forward under martial law with modernization while also stressing the Germanic aspects of their rule. The Austrians overestimated themselves, because by that time they were no longer a great power, but only a regional one. The Hapsburg Empire had strongly resisted the calls for self-government of its national minorities living within its territories for more than half a century, but after severe military defeats in 1859 and 1866, the emperor and his advisers saw that restoring peace in Hungary was one of the key prerequisites for the continued existence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Elizabeth and Franz Joseph I. (Wikimedia images)
The negotiations led to the adoption of Law-Article XII of 1867, which stated that the person of the sovereign and the Sanctio Pragmatica united the two sovereign nations. Based on the latter (specifically the hereditary lands of the Hapsburg provinces), so-called common matters arose, such as foreign and military policy and the related financial aspects. The budget for the three joint ministers acting in these fields was to be negotiated by delegations from both parts of the empire, and Hungary also agreed to assume part of Austria’s national debt. It would furthermore conclude a compromise with Austria that would be renewed every 10 years and would unite the monetary systems of the two states (the Hungarian government concluded a separate compromise agreement with Croatia, which entered into effect in 1868). The ceremonial high point of the compromise occurred on June 8, 1867, when Franz Joseph I was crowned king of Hungary in a lavish ceremony at the Matthias Church in Buda. According to the prevailing opinion at the time, Queen Elizabeth played a key role in the compromise, exerting her influence in favor of the Hungarian interests.
The Compromise of 1867’s moral lesson, which endures to this day, is that the political forces of two groups with serious conflicts of interests were able to reach a peaceful compromise thanks to their tireless efforts. There is essentially no political situation so complicated that the parties to the conflict cannot reach an agreement if they are able to subordinate short-term gains to the long-term goals of building a community. ❑
This post is based on a press release courtesy of the Coin & Currency Institute.