World Coins

Hungary honors firefighters with three new coins

Hungary honors firefighters and the legend of Saint Florian on new commemorative coins, including this copper-nickel 2,000-forint piece.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Hungary.

Hungary has released three new 2020 commemorative coins to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the nation’s firefighters.

Count Ödön Széchenyi laid the foundations for organized fire departments in Hungary, with the recruitment of the first volunteers, the creation of professional associations, and finally the nation-wide collaboration of different associations across the country.

As a result of his efforts, the Hungarian Firefighters’ Federation, the legal predecessor of today’s Hungarian Firefighter Association, was established in 1870. In Hungary, Firefighter’s Day has been officially celebrated annually on May 4 since 1991 in commemoration of Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.

For this anniversary the Central Bank of Hungary issued a circulating commemorative 50-forint coin, a copper-nickel 2,000-forint coin and a silver 10,000-forint coin.

Coins, by design

Both collector coins (the 2,000- and 10,000-forint) share common designs (except for the denominational notations).

The obverse depicts a decorated helmet above two crossed fire axes, with an arch-shaped inscription of the fire department motto translating to “From a Glorious Past to a Worthy Future.”

The denomination appears below the crossed axes.

Saint Florian is on the reverse standing in the uniform of a Roman officer holding a flag in one hand and a bucket of water in the other, with which he is extinguishing a house fire.

The legend translating to “150 Years of Organized Fire Departments in Hungary” is shown with his name below.

Saint Florian was a Christian martyr and is the patron saint of firefighters. The cult of Saint Florian became popular in Central Europe in the late Middle Ages. According to legend, he saved a house from complete destruction by a dreadful fire when he was a child.


The Proof .925 silver 10,000-forint coin weighs 31.46 grams and measures 38.61 millimeters in diameter. It is limited to 5,000 coins and costs $67.50.

The Uncirculated 2,000-forint piece weighs 30.8 grams and measures 38.61 millimeters in diameter. The issue limit is also 5,000 coins, each costing $19.95.

In total, 2 million circulation-quality examples of the 50-forint coin were issued, with 12,000 of those examples dedicated to a special, colorful “First Day of Issue” blister pack and offered at $12.95 each.

The 50-forint coin has the same obverse design as the other two coins with the standard circulation coin reverse. It measures 27.4 millimeters in diameter and weighs 7.7 grams. Shipping and handling are additional.

To order or for more information on these and other coins of Hungary, visit the website for the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative, the Coin & Currency Institute, at

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