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300th anniversary of the birth of Jozef Karol Hell

€10 silver collector coin

Banknotes and coins, 300th anniversary of the birth of Jozef Karol Hell
Banknotes and coins, 300th anniversary of the birth of Jozef Karol Hell

Jozef Karol Hell (12 May 1713 – 10 March 1789) was a mining pump designer, inventor, and chief engineer who helped establish the mining tradition in Banská Štiavnica. (The precise date of Jozef Hell’s birth is not recorded and is variously given as 12, 15 and 16 May; his Christening date is recorded as 16 May 1713.)

Like his father, Matej Kornel Hell, Jozef Karol Hell specialised in building and repairing reservoirs and in the supply of energy for mining equipment. What he is most famous for, however, is the invention of pumps that were far more powerful, and consumed much less water, than those previously used. Mining conditions were improved by Hell’s beam pumps, column pumps and air pumps. After becoming established features of the mines around Banská Štiavnica, this equipment gradually came to be adopted in other European countries, too. Apart from pumps, Hell also produced fire sprinklers and ore grinding machines. He became one of the most renowned designers of these machines and, in his position as chief engineer, he ensured that the mining equipment used in the Banská Štiavnica area was among the most advanced in Europe in the 18th century.

  • Description of the coin

    The obverse side of the coin depicts the New Castle, which is the dominant landmark of Banská Štiavnica and was one of the workplace of Jozef Karol Hell. Below it is a mining scene with wooden mine props, pumping pipes, and two lizards, relating to a legend about the discovery of gold and silver in the Banská Štiavnica area and the start of mining there. In the centre is the coat of arms of the Slovak Republic, and below that is the year 2013. The country name SLOVENSKO appears along the right edge of the design. The mintmark of the Kremnica Mint, MK, and the stylised initials of the designer, Mgr. art. Roman Lugár, RL, are placed next to the left edge.

    The reverse side shows the beam of a column pump along with the oldest coat of arms of Banská Štiavnica. In the upper part is the denomination 10 EURO, and along the lower edge is the name JOZEF KAROL HELL. Above the name, in two rows, are the dates of Hell’s birth and death 1713 and 1789.

  • Coin details
    Designer:Roman Lugár
    Composition:.900 silver, .100 copper
    Weight:18 g
    Diameter:34 mm
    Producer:Kremnica Mint
    Engraver:Dalibor Schmidt
    Issuing volume:3,100 coins in brilliant uncirculated quality
    5,750 coins in proof quality
    Issuing date:24 May 2013