At a time when many coins feature precious stones or jewels embedded
or encased within them, a new coin from the National Bank of
Slovakia and the Kremnica Mint is a throwback.
The 2014 .925 fine silver €20 coin celebrates with simplicity the
opal, which was mined in Dubník, an area in southwest Slovakia.
Until the discovery of opal fields in Mexico and Australia in the
19th century, Dubník was the only site of opal mining in the world.
Australia’s present peak opal mining output is similar to that of
Dubník some 150 years ago, according to the National Bank of Slovakia.
Opal mining at Dubník ended in 1922, though efforts are currently
being made to reopen the mines.
The obverse of the coin portrays Isabella’s necklace, which was
presented to Isabella Jagiellon in 1539 upon her marriage to John
Zápolya, the king of Hungary.
The necklace is made of gold and decorated with 16 irregularly
brushed precious Dubník opals.
In the background of the coin is the silhouette of a bat, as the
Dubník mines provide an important wintering site for the creature.
The obverse also bears the national emblem of the Slovak Republic
and the year of issue, 2014. The name of the state SLOVENSKO is
inscribed on the left side of the coin.
The reverse of the coin features a bat silhouette in the mine’s
interior. The bottom portrays a tunnel entrance characteristic of the
Dubník mines, with the inscriptions NÁLEZISKO OPÁLOV (“opal field”)
and DUBNÍCKE BANE (“Dubník mines”). Stylized initials MP of the coin
designer, Mária Poldaufová, are located at the bottom, adjacent to the
rim of the coin, along with the Kremnica Mint’s mark.
It is inscribed on the edge OSOBITOSTI PRÍRODY SLOVENSKA,
translating to “Special features of Slovak Nature.”
The coin weighs 33.63 grams and measures 40 millimeters in diameter
The coin has a mintage limit of 2,750 pieces in Brilliant
Uncirculated and 5,300 pieces in Proof.
The coin does not appear to be available through any official
distributors or the mint, so collectors will have to seek this coin in
the secondary market.