Hungary: Picturesque Baranya in Southern Hungary Features on Latest County Seats Coin Series

A new silver and copper coin issue from Hungary features the county of Baranya.

by Michael Alexander | Published on March 4, 2024

The Hungarian National Bank have released new silver and copper coins which is part of a new series of collector coins launched in 2022. As the second piece in alphabetical order of the series celebrating Hungarian counties and county seats, the latest coin highlights Baranya county, Pécs which is located in the southern part of Hungary’s Transdanubia region. Baranya itself is renowned for its unique natural and climatic features, and its historical cities. It is also home to one of Hungary’s southernmost, well-known, established wine regions in the Villányi mountains, which has thrived in part due to its sub-Mediterranean climate condition. The city of Pécs is the county seat of Baranya County and one of Hungary’s oldest cities. Founded by King Saint Stephen, he established a bishopric in Pécs in 1009. Today, the four towers of the basilica stand as the symbol of the Diocese of Pécs. Hungary’s first university was also founded in Pécs by King Louis the Great. The mosque of Pasha Gazi Kasim was built on the city’s main square during the 150 year occupation by the Ottomans. In 1780, Pécs was elevated to the rank of a free-city with royal status, significantly stimulating its civic and economic development. Industrialisation accelerated exponentially in the 19th century, with establishment of the internationally renowned Zsolnay ceramics company, still a landmark today.

Both versions of the coins are produced by the Mint of Hungary at their facilities in Budapest and on behalf of the Hungarian National Bank. Designed by Gábor Kereszthury, the obverse side blends both historic, natural landmarks and contemporary structures. Featured is one of the city’s most important buildings, the Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary - also known as the Dzsámi. A figure from the Zsolnay fountain erected in honour of Vilmos Zsolnay, founder of the city’s famous porcelain factory, can be seen in the right foreground. The water springing from the fountain recalls the streams from the Mecsek Mountains, which facilitated the city’s industrial development in the latter half of the 19th century. The coat-of-arms of the city of Pécs is delicately shown on the side of the fountain. The left side of the coin features the Holy Trinity statue erected in the wake of the plague in the 18th century, with the TV tower on the Misina peak in the background and which, is Hungary’s tallest building with a height of 197 metres. The text MAGYARORSZÁG is placed above the primary design and along the upper rim. The year 2024 and the mint mark BP are on the left side. Below the Zsolnay fountain to the left is the denomination 20000 FORINT (silver) or 3000 FORINT (copper) with the text PÉCS above. The reverse side focuses on the natural landmark with a depiction of the Mecsek Mountains in the background and the TV tower of Pécs in the distance. To the left is a map-like image of the county, with the legend BARANYA and VÁRMEGYE (county) shown in two lines. One of Hungary’s protected plants is the peony subspecies paeonia officinalis banatica which is only found in Baranya County. The image of the flower is located to the lower right, next to the text BÁNÁTI BAZSARÓZSA placed along the lower right rim. The inclusion of grapes in the design is also found on the county’s coat-of-arms and alludes to the wine regions of Pécs and Villány-Siklósi. Both silver and copper versions include incused lettering around the reeded edge which reads MAGYARORSZÁG VÁRMEGYÉI, VÁRMEGYESZÉKHELYEI” (Hungarian counties and county seats) repeated twice and divided by dashes.

 Denomination    Metal    Weight    Diameter    Quality    Mintage Limit    
3,000 Forint  .999 Copper   29.5 g.   42 mm.   BU oxidised 10,000   
20,000 Forint.925 Silver    40 g.    42 mm.    Proof  6,000   

Available from the 5th March, both the silver proof and BU base metal coins are encapsulated and accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. The base metal coin is available for its face value of 3000 Forint. For additional information, please visit the webshop of the Mint of Hungary.

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Author: Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander image Michael’s background in both numismatics and banknotes spans more than three decades and whose activities have varied from being a dedicated world coin collector to coin & medal design, marketing, theme concept and production. His additional interests include banknote research and in 1997, he founded the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre to further these interests and activities. The company continues to offer monthly currency bulletins to both online and printed publications which includes information about the latest banknote news and releases from Central Banks and Monetary Authorities around the world. Michael has been a contributor to COIN NEWS magazine based in the UK since 1998 where many of his in-depth interviews, articles and bulletins have been published.

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