Silver’s downward sliding price over the past year has spurred Germany’s ministry of finance to bring silver back to collector coins sold at face value.
The April 15 announcement reverses a decision made four years ago, when Germany replaced silver with copper-nickel in the collectible Uncirculated versions of its €10 coins sold at face value. The more recent policy change becomes effective beginning in 2016, but to cushion against future spikes in the price of silver, both the Proof version and the face value Uncirculated collector coins will be denominated €20.
In addition, both Uncirculated and Proof €20 coins will be struck from .925 fine silver, a return to the standard alloy in use before the amount of silver in the €10 coins was reduced to .625 fine in October 2010.
Germany has continued to issue Proof silver €10 examples struck in .625 fine silver since the switch to copper-nickel was announced in April 2011, but these are offered at prices higher than face value. The copper-nickel versions of the €10 coins were available through banks and post offices, with Proof versions available to collectors through the Mints.
According to a translation of the announcement from the German ministry, “This adjustment takes place against the background of the development of the sales occurred since 2011 and should lead to a sustainable strengthening and revival of the collector market.”
The new series of €20 coins will weigh 18 grams, but will measure 32.5 millimeters in diameter, the same diameter as the current .625 fine silver €10 coins, which weigh 16 grams.
Exact pricing for the Proof version of the silver €20 will be set closer to the February 2016 launch of Germany's first example of the coin, with a Red Riding Hood design, continuing a series celebrating Grimm’s fairy tales (begun in 2012, as a debased €10 series).
Themes for other 2016 collector coins are also confirmed.
Germany will issue four other silver €20 coins, honoring the 175th anniversary of the volunteer fire brigade, an unspecified German song and the 125th birth anniversaries of poet-playwright Nelly Sachs and painter-printmaker Otto Dix.
A gold €20 coin celebrating the nightingale is the first in a new series honoring domestic birds, and the gold €100 coin continues a series honoring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, celebrating the Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof.
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