The Athletics coin is the ninth and final coin in Finland's Sports coins series and it is now available from the Mint of Finland.
The series was initiated in 2015 and has produced coins depicting Gymnastics, Basketball, Figure Skating and Volleyball for that year. The 2016 coins for the series so far have been ice hockey, skiing, ski jumping and football. The athletics coin brings the series to a timely close.
The European Athletics Championships is set to take place in Amsterdam from July 6–10 2016. Finnish athletes will look forward to the annual Kalevan Kisat athletics championship in Oulu from the 21st to the 24th of July. And naturally, then in August the world will turn it's collective attention to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The reverse of the coin depicts a javelin thrower to the right, getting ready to release his javelin. To the left, just coming into view, is the arm of a discus thrower still holding the round discus in his hand, a portion of the safety net can be seen in the mid distance.
The obverse shares the common design with the rest of the sports coins series, as designed by artist Nora Tapper. The rounded curve of an athletics stadium with the tracks in the foreground and lower half on the coin. The upper half of the coin depicts the stadium filled to capacity with an excitable crowd waving flags and cheering their favourite athlete on towards victory. In the middle, against the crowd barrier appears the inscription “SUOMI FINLAND” and “2016”. The denomination of “5 EURO” is noted to the bottom, slightly offset to the right, over the athletics tracks.
The bi-metallic 5 Euro coin consists of a cupro-nickel(CuNi25) inner with an copper-aluminum-nickel(CuAl6Ni2) outer. The 9.8gram(0.35oz) coin measures 27.25mm(1.07 inch) and is produced in both proof and uncirculated finishes.
The proof coin is available in a special printed packaging for €22.00 each(US$25.00) from the Mint of Finland. The proof issue is limited to 10 000 coins. The uncirculated coins will carry a mintage figure of 50 000 coins and are available in a printed blister pack for €10.00(US$11.35) each. The Mint of Finland is also offering a special box of ten uncirculated coins for €62.00(US$70.45) per box.
As this is the closing coin in the series, the mint of Finland is also making it possible for collectors to obtain the entire series of nine sports coins together in a little pouch. The small cloth purse bears the upright lion that is the Mint of Finland's logo and mintmark on the front. All nine coins in the series are included in what the mint is calling uncirculated quality. The cloth 'purse' containing the complete Sport Coins series is set to retail for around €55.80(US$63.45). However, it is worth noting that it is not clear if these 'uncirculated' coins are protected or encapsulated in any way, unlike the single proof or uncirculated coins that are.
These may well be true uncirculated coins, but left unprotected they are sure not to stay that way for long. If they are not in flips or capsules then bagmarks should be expected with these 'purse' coins. The price, only €10.80 over the collective face value of the set, might also suggest a business strike - but then the more durable packaging of the single coins could easily explain that as well.
All images courtesy of the Mint of Finland