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South Africa Gets COTY
By David C. Harper, Numismatic News
December 09, 2010

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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South Africa has won the 2011 Coin of the Year Award that will be given Jan. 29 at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.

An international panel of judges pushed a gold White Rhino, 1 ounce, 100-rand coin from the Natura series over the finish line Dec. 7 at the conclusion of voting.

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The coin has a diameter of 32.7mm and a mintage of 4,000. Obverse of the 2009-dated coin was designed by N. van Niekerk and M.J. Scheepers. The reverse was designed by van Niekerk and A. Minnie.

The judging panel selected the coin from a field of 10 category winners that had been chosen in the first round of voting that had been conducted in November.

This year’s competition for 2009-dated coins began with a field of 93 coins issued by mints worldwide.

Topping the first round of COTY voting was Canada, with two category winners. Its $300 Native American Summer Moon Mask gold piece won in the Most Artistic category, while the Crystal Snowflake silver $20 beat out the competition to win the Best Silver Coin designation.

Initially France also triumphed in two categories, but because one nomination ended up being dated 2010 rather than 2009, it was disqualified and will be considered for next year’s award.

France won the Best Contemporary Event Coin for the silver 10 euro marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Kazakhstan won the Most Historically Significant Coin honors with a silver 100 tenge commemorating Attila the Hun.

The Best Gold Coin category winner is the South African coin.

Finland’s Peace and Security silver 20 euro was named Best Crown by the judges.

Taking the title of Most Popular coin was the 10-euro silver coin of the Basilisk of Vienna, a monstrous creature of legend that was part snake, toad and cockerel.

Slovakia’s first 2 euro circulating coin struck and issued when it joined the euro zone won the Best Trade Coin category.

Winner of Most Innovative Coin honors was the British Indian Ocean Territory’s 2-pound silver and crystal Life of the Sea Turtle coin.

Named Most Inspirational Coin is a 10 zlotych silver piece from Poland honoring the World War II Polish underground resistance to Nazi occupation.

The public will join in bestowing honors by selecting a People’s Choice Award winner from a field comprised primarily of the category winners. Visit to vote. Voting closes Jan. 2, 2011. The winner will also be honored at the special COTY Awards reception in Berlin.

COTY Awards are sponsored by World Coin News, a sister publication to Numismatic News.

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