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Results of the public anonymous competition for the design of a €100 gold collector coin featuring World Natural Heritage – Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians

First prize (design selected for the coin)
Mária Poldaufová

First prize (design selected for the coin) First prize (design selected for the coin)

Second prize
Mgr. art. Miroslav Hric, ArtD.

Second prize Second prize

Third prize
Mgr. art. Peter Valach

Third prize Third prize

In September 2014 Národná banka Slovenska announced an open competition for the design of a €100 gold collector coin featuring “World Natural Heritage – Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians”. This unique habitat located in Slovakia and Ukraine is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, together with the ancient beech forests of Germany.

Twelve designs by the same number of designers were entered in the competition. In November 2014 they were evaluated anonymously by the Committee for the Assessment of Commemorative and Collector Coin Designs, which was assisted in this task by an expert adviser, Marián Gič, representing the Poloniny National Park Administration.

A design by Mária Poldaufová won first prize. In line with the Committee’s recommendation, the NBS Bank Board approved her design for the coin. The Committee praised the design for its artistry and the way it encapsulated the theme. Prominent on the obverse side, in the lower centre, is the rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina), a saprophage closely identified with the Carpathian primeval beech forests. Above and extending to the upper and side edges is a semicircular composition depicting Carpathian toothwort (Cardamine glanduligera) – a typical flora of these forests. The reverse shows various natural features that together represent the structure and cycle of life in the primeval beechwood ecosystem. With the depiction of decomposing tree trunks, flowing water, a beech stand, and beech nuts, the designer’s idea is to capture the nature of the primeval forest and the changes it undergoes.

Second prize was awarded to Miroslav Hric. The Committee appreciated the high quality of his sculpting technique and depiction of the theme. The obverse design features fauna and flora typical of the primeval beech forests – the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), rosalia longicorn, and Carpathian toothwort. The reverse side illustrates the uninterrupted life cycle of beech trees, from their sprouting to decomposition.

Third prize went to Peter Valach. The design is interestingly divided into four irregular sections. The dynamism of the composition on both the obverse and reverse sides is considerably enhanced by the arrangement of the text. The principal pictorial features are fauna typical of the habitat – the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) on the obverse side and a Ural owl (Strix uralensis) with owlet on the reverse. The design also captures well the life cycle of the primeval beech forest, with depictions of trees, decomposing trunks, and beech nuts.

Additional prizes for the high quality of their entries were awarded to Karol Ličko and Kliment Mitura.