National Bank of Hungary has launched a new ‘Gold Florin of Charles I’ with a face value of HUF 10,000 in normal and piedfort versions. The normal size coins are struck in .986 fine gold, weight at 3.491 grams, their diameter is 20 mm and they have a smooth edge. The piedfort coins with an edge inscription ‘KAROLUS · REX · FLORENUS · 1325’, weigh 13.964 grams. Both of the coins was designed by Tamás E Soltra and struck at Mint of Hungary in Budapest. The mintage limit for the normal size collector coin is 5,000 and that of the piedfort coin is 1,500.
The obverse of the coin features the standard design elements: the upper legend ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ (Hungary) on the rim, the value numeral ’10 000’ and the inscription ‘FORINT’ in a lower legend, separated from each other by a dot. The mint year ‘2012’ and the mint mark ‘BP.’ are positioned on the left and right sides of the coin, respectively, between the upper and lower legends. A representation of the obverse of the gold florin of Charles I is depicted in the centre, with the Florentine lily appearing in the legend KAROLV∙REX (King Charles). As with all coins issued in contemporary Europe, King Charles’ coin was also made after the gold coin of Florence called fiorino d’oro (hence the forint’s name) because of its fleur de lis design, struck from 1252.
On the rim of the reverse, the upper and lower legends read ‘I. KÁROLY’ (Charles I) and the period of the King’s rule ‘1301–1342’, respectively. Ornamental motifs depicting an Anjou lily feature on the left and right sides, between the upper and lower legends. The initials of designer Tamás E. Soltra are positioned below the ornamental motif on the right. A representation of the reverse of the gold florin of Charles I is depicted in the centre, with a picture of the patron saint of Florence circumscribed with the inscription S IOHANNES B (St John the Baptist). A small crown is placed at the end of the legend on the reverse, which some believe is the mint mark of the medieval city of Buda. However, because this mark features on all known pieces, it is more likely that it refers to the Kingdom of Hungary, the issuer of the coin, distinguishing them markedly from Florentine florins.
You can buy the collector coin at the coin shop of the Hungarian Mint in the Magyar Nemzeti Bank’s Visitor Centre (8–9 Szabadság tér, Budapest) and on the Mint’s website (www.penzvero.hu).