World Coins

Hungary honors ‘second national anthem’ with coins

Hungary’s “second national anthem” is the subject of new commemorative coins, including the Uncirculated copper-nickel 2,000-forint version shown here.

Coin images courtesy of the Hungarian Central Bank.

To mark the 175th anniversary of Hungary’s “second national anthem,” the Szózat (in English, “Appeal” or “Summons”), Hungary has issued a pair of new coins.

The coins were issued to coincide with the May 10 anniversary of the anthem’s premiere.

The lyrics, intended to encourage patriotism and loyalty, were penned by Mihály Vörösmarty in 1836. 

Today they are usually sung at the end of major public gatherings and ceremonies, which why the Szózat is called the second national anthem, whereas the Himnusz, the official anthem, kicks off such gatherings. 

Béni Egressy composed the Szózat’s music in 1843 in response to an open competition launched by the National Theater. Egressy submitted his composition with the motto “May every man be human and Hungarian!”

The premiere was at the National Theater on May 10, 1843, where the competition’s winner was decided by the audience. It received a standing ovation and soon became well-known as a popular “national song.” 

1806 Mint reportInside Coin World: About those 1805 silver dollars Although an 1806 Mint document claims 321 silver dollar were made in 1805, no such coins are known today. It took a later book to explain the reference.

The 2018 coins pay tribute to both the poet and the musical composer. It is said that the poem addresses all Hungarians, and is complemented perfectly by the music that captures the sentiment of its era. 

The obverse has a half-length portrait of Vörösmarty writing the poem with the national flag shown in the background. 

The design was inspired by a Miklós Barabás painting. On the left is the coat of arms of Hungary, while on the right, in Hungarian, is the anthem’s most significant stanza, which translates to, “No other spot in all the world / can touch your heart as home — / let fortune bless or fortune curse, / from hence you shall not roam!” Below it is the poet’s signature.

The reverse of the coins feature a half-length portrait of Béni Egressy, also inspired by a Barabás painting. The old National Theater is in the background. 

Next to Egressy is part of the sheet music for the Szózat, while the composer’s signature is at the bottom. The master mark of applied artist Gábor Kereszthury, the designer of the coin, is hidden in the design.

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Two versions are available, each measuring 52.5 millimeters in diameter and limited to a mintage of 5,000 pieces. 

The Uncirculated copper-nickel 2,000-forint coin weighs 76.5 grams and retails for $22.75. 

The Proof .925 fine silver 20,000-forint coin weighs 77.76 grams and retails for $108.95. 

Coin & Currency Institute is the official distributor for the Hungarian Mint.

To order, or for more information, visit the distributor website

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