World Coins

Dutch coins honor water pumping station centennial

New coins from the Netherlands honor the centennial of the D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station.

Images courtesy of Royal Dutch Mint.

The Netherlands famously battles water to reshape nature, reclaim land and protect its people. Three new coins from the Royal Dutch Mint celebrate one such technological marvel that was created to contend with and control the water.

The coins mark the centennial of the Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal (in English: the D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station), the largest, still-operating steam pumping station in the world. It was opened on Oct. 7, 1920, by Queen Wilhelmina, and its job was to pump excess water from the northern province of Friesland into the Zuiderzee, and later into the Ijsselmeer, both bays bordering the North Sea. To this day, the Woudagemaal plays a crucial role within the Frisian water authority.

Sharing designs

The coins are identical in design but in three different metals, to mark the occasion.

Visual artist Berend Strik designed the Woudagemaal coin that is also the first commemorative coin to depict King Willem-Alexander with a beard. On the obverse, the waving flag of the province of Friesland is visible behind the portrait of the king. Underneath is a fragment of the canals surrounding the Woudagemaal

On the reverse is a drawing of the Woudagemaal in straight and simple lines, all depicted from a bird’s-eye view, to show the steam pumping station in the typical flat Friesland landscape. The font used on both sides of the coin is the same as found on the steam engines inside the Woudagemaal.

An Uncirculated silver-plated copper €5 weighs 10.5 grams and measures 29 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 60,000 pieces and retails for $19.75 from American distributor Coin & Currency Institute.

The Proof .925 fine silver €5 weighs 15.5 grams and measures 33 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 4,600 coins and retails for $69.95.

The Proof .900 fine gold €10, weighing 6.72 grams and measuring 22.5 millimeters in diameter, is limited to 1,000 pieces and costs $635.

To order, visit the website

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