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Results of the public competition for the design of a €100 gold collector coin featuring the World Natural Heritage – Caves of Slovak Karst

First prize and the design selected for the coin
Roman Lugár

First prize and the design selected for the coin First prize and the design selected for the coin

Increased second prize
Michal Gavula

Increased second prize Increased second prize

Third prize
Branislav Ronai

Third prize Third prize

In June 2016 Národná banka Slovenska (NBS) announced a public anonymous competition for the design of a €100 gold collector coin featuring the World Natural Heritage – Caves of Slovak Karst. A total of eleven designs by ten designers were entered in the competition. In September 2016 the designs were evaluated anonymously by the Committee for the Assessment of Commemorative and Collector Coin Designs, which was assisted in its task by an expert adviser, Peter Gažík, a representative of the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic – Slovak Caves Administration.

A design by Roman Lugár was awarded first prize and, on the Committee’s recommendation, it was approved by the NBS Bank Board as the design for the coin. The Committee praised Mr Lugár for his innovative approach to the design and for how he artistically depicted elements representing the essence of the cave formation process. The obverse design centres on the surface of a small cave lake and the ripples created by a water drop from a stalactite. The shape of the ripples is mirrored in the shape of a cave creature – Niphargus – depicted in the upper right part of the design. On the reverse, the main elements (a bat and the Rožňava Speleologists Dripstone in Krásnohorská Cave) are framed within ripples similar to those on the obverse, thus achieving a striking visual unity between the two sides.

The Committee awarded an increased second prize to Michal Gavula and noted the artistic quality of his design. On the obverse, centrally positioned, is a typical flowstone formation (‘drum’) from Domica Cave and above it are a pair of Niphargus cave creatures depicted next to each other in such a way as to form a semicircular shape. The reverse design is dominated by a specimen of the cave species Neobisium slovacum, which is endemic to the Slovak Karst caves. This image is set against a background of flowstone formations.

Third prize went to a design by Branislav Ronai. According to the Committee, it was a high-quality traditionally styled coin design that accurately captured prominent features of the Slovak Karst cave system. The obverse depicts flowstone straw stalactites from Gombasecká Cave and pagoda stalagmites from Domica Cave. The reverse features examples of cave fauna, specifically Neobisium slovacum and part of a bat’s wing. The principal elements are a flowstone drum from Domica Cave and straw stalactites from Gombasecká Cave, enhanced by the addition of typical aragonite crystals from Ochtinská Aragonite Cave.

Additional prizes were awarded to Andrea Ličková, Karol Ličko, Kliment Mitura and Peter Valach in recognition of the high quality of their designs.