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A Grand Rapids Coin Dealer’s Thoughts on Coin of the Year

Coin-of-the-Year-2011

Once again it’s the time of year for annual awards – the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and of course Coin of the Year! As your Grand Rapids coin dealer, Mullen Coins will be watching along with the rest of the coin collecting world for the announcement of Krause Publications’ annual Coin of the Year (COTY) for 2011 coins. A fascinating list of nominees has already been announced, and the winners for each category have been announced as well. The overall winner will be revealed February 2, 2013, at the World Money Fair in Berlin.

Coin of the Year


These carefully juried designs showcase some of the best examples of coin design in the world, competing in ten award categories including best design, most artistic, best contemporary event, most innovative, most inspirational, and most historically significant. In a departure from the past couple of years, there is even an American nominee this year in one of the categories – the Olympic National Park quarter for Most Popular Coin.


One of my clients is very interested in collecting these COTY coins, and her interest does make a lot of sense. Collectors who focus on U.S. coins grow accustomed to a certain type of American coin design, so it is both refreshing and fascinating to see the themes, techniques, and global events that inspire current coins from all parts of the globe. Collecting these coins provides an opportunity to learn about current events and history in other countries, as well as cutting edge design techniques and subjects that would never be considered for American coinage. Can you imagine an American coin with moving parts or encased crystals? Or with an inspirational subject with a religious theme?


Like some coin collectors, my client may find herself collecting a set of COTY coins year after year, assembling a coin museum of world events and themes. The COTY competition, which began with the coins of 1982, now has an approximately 30 year history that showcases the evolution of the world’s best coin design. By collecting these annual award winners, it is possible to trace both world history and design history in the form of some unique and varied coins. And since the COTY coins are not particularly expensive or rare, a collection of all the nominees should be well within the budget of most collectors. Another option would be to collect the category winners.


If you are interested in collecting Coin of the Year nominees, contact Mullen Coins, your Grand Rapids coin dealer. Then choose your favorite of the nominees, and wait with us to see if your coin will make Coin of the Year history.

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