World Coins

Hungary celebrates birth anniversary of Milton Friedman

On July 11, Hungary planned to issue two coins, a base metal 2,000 forint and a silver 15,000 forint, to mark Milton Friedman’s 110th birth anniversary.

Images courtesy of the Coin & Currency Institute.

Famed economist Milton Friedman was born in 1912 in New York, the child of parents who moved to the United States from Beregszász, Hungary (now Berehove, Ukraine).

On July 11, Hungary planned to issue two coins, a base metal 2,000 forint and a silver 15,000 forint, to mark his 110th birth anniversary.

Friedman’s life story

He studied mathematics and statistics at Rutgers University and then economics at the University of Chicago and Columbia University. After earning a doctorate at Columbia in 1946, he began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1946, where he remained for 30 years.

He was a central figure in the Chicago school of economics, which produced several Nobel Memorial Prize winners. Minimum government intervention and the free market system were the core elements of Friedman’s political philosophy and monetarist economic approach.

In 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for his work on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy.

In 1988 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.

He died Nov. 16, 2006, at the age of 94.

Coin design

The obverse shows Friedman’s hand balancing a pencil. The pencil, which he used regularly in his lectures, is a symbol of cooperation.

Above the pencil is the equation for the monetarist theory “M×V=P×Q,” which plays a key role in Friedman’s reinterpretation of money supply (M is the money supply, V is the velocity or number of times per year the average dollar is spent, P is the price of goods and services and Q is the quantity of goods and services).

The reverse shows a portrait of Friedman. The legend MILTON FRIEDMAN is found in two lines to the left of the portrait, along with the dates of his birth and death, 1912 and 2006.

Both coins measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter with mintages limited to 4,000 coins.

The Proof .925 fine silver 15,000-forint coin weighs 31.46 grams. It sells for $74.75.

The Brilliant Uncirculated 2,000-forint coin weighs 30.8 grams and retails for $19.95.

Shipping and handling is an additional charge.

To order, contact the distributor, the Coin & Currency Institute, at

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