The third issue in a series depicting the medieval Hungarian gold florins is now available from the National Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank).
The 2014 edition in the annual series honors the gold florin of Queen Mary, who reigned from 1382 to 1395. The 2014 issue follows the 2012 release honoring Charles I and the 2013 issue for Louis I.
New for 2014 is the release of a 2,000-forint base metal version of the design, which is also available in two Brilliant Uncirculated gold 50,000-forint versions, one a regular-size issue and the other a piedfort (double-thick) issue. The addition to the 2014 grouping is the first base metal version of a precious metal coin to be issued in Hungary, according to the National Bank of Hungary.
The obverse of the 2014 coins depicts the obverse of Queen Mary’s gold florin with a field of six stripes in a rosette. A figure of Saint Ladislaus holding an axe is found on the back, along with a Mint mark of a cross in a circle, a mark used exclusively on the coins minted under Queen Mary’s reign. The models are the designs of sculptor E. Tamás Soltra.
The original coin is cataloged as Friedberg 8 in Gold Coins of the World by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg and trades for several thousand dollars depending on condition.
The “regular” version of the gold coin is struck to a ducat standard, meaning it is .986 fine gold weighing 3.491 grams. Limited to a mintage of 2,000 pieces, it costs $397.75 from the Hungarian Mint’s North American representative, Coin & Currency Institute.
The piedfort version is actually four times the weight of the regular issue (most piedforts are double weight and thickness). The extra thickness allowed room for an edge inscription reading +MARIA•DEI•GRATIA•REGINA•VNGARIE, which translates to “Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Hungary.”
The piedfort coin's mintage limit of 500 pieces sold out at the mint and the coin is available on a “first-come, first-served” basis from the distributor for $1,775 each, according to the distributor.
The base metal coin weighs 2.7 grams, has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces and is available for $19.50 each.
All of the coins measure 20 millimeters in diameter.