Slovakian gold €100 coin highlights region’s natural wonders in Carpathian Mountains

Coin honors Beech forests composing UNESCO World Heritage Site
By , Coin World
Published : 12/18/15
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Slovakia’s Carpathian Mountains are home to world-famous Beech forests that have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The beech forests are now honored on a noncirculating legal tender Proof .900 fine gold €100 coin.

The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany is a transnational World Natural Heritage site comprising 15 separate habitats, four of which are situated in Slovakia, six in Ukraine and five in Germany.

The Carpathian primeval beech forests are an archipelago of undisturbed forest islands, providing a wide variety of virgin forest habitats in which beech trees achieve record sizes. Some of them have exceptionally thick trunks and the tallest reach up to 58 meters, a world record for the species.

The habitats of the Carpathian primeval beech forests are rich in rare plant and animal species, many of which can only be found in this type of woods. 

The forests are a haven as well for a variety of animals. The larvae of the rare beetles rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina) and Leptura thoracica grow in the wood of dead beech trees. 

The obverse of the coin celebrates the symbiosis with the rosalia longicorn, showing the beetle in a circular frame. Also in the design are flowers and leaves of Carpathian toothwort.

Obverse inscriptions identify the country of issue, the denomination and year of issue.

The reverse shows the primeval beech forest habitat with leaves and nuts of the European beech to the right. Inside the left rim runs the inscription translating to “World Natural Heritage,” and opposite it, at the right rim, is the text meaning “Carpathian primeval beech forests.” 

The stylized initials of the coin designer Mária Poldaufová “MP” and the Kremnica Mint mark “MK” also appear on the coin.

The coin weighs 9.5 grams, measures 26 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces. 

Collectors interested in this coin will have to search the secondary market.

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