World Coins

Hungarian sheepdog stands guard on face of new coin

Hungary’s second coin in an annual series celebrating dogs showcases the “mop dog,” the komondor.

Images courtesy of Coin & Currency Institute.

The second coin in the Hungarian Sheep and Hunting Dogs series of coins, honoring the komondor, will be issued Oct. 4.

The Proof-like copper-nickel-zinc 2,000-forint coin features a profile of a komondor on the obverse, and a trio guarding livestock on the reverse.

The komondor, also known as the Hungarian sheepdog, is a large, white dog a livestock guardian best known for its long, corded coat. For its coat, it is sometimes called a “mop dog.”

They were brought to Hungary by the Cumans, a Turkic speaking, nomadic people who settled in Hungary during the 12th and 13th century. The name derives from “qumandur,” meaning “cuman dog.”

Dogged determination

Although it is a fairly common breed in Hungary today, many were killed during World War II. Legend has it that this was because when the Germans, and later the Russians, attacked, they had to kill the dog before they could capture anything that it was guarding.

One Hungarian reference says that “an intruder may be allowed to enter the property guarded by a Komondor, but he will not be allowed to leave or escape.”

The American Kennel Club, which recognized the breed in 1937, explains, “The dreadlocks give the dog a cool, funky look, but they aren’t for show. They provide protection from extreme weather and sharptoothed predators. The cords also let Koms blend in with the sheep.”

The coin has a maximum mintage of 10,000 coins and costs $19.95 each (five or more are $17.95 each) from distributor Coin & Currency Institute.

To order, visit the website,

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