Finland this year celebrates one hundred years of independent rule, after it declared it's independence from the Russian Empire in 1917. To mark this occasion the Mint of Finland is issuing several themed coins throughout the year as a part of the Finland 100 programme.
The presidential coins, of which four have already been released in 2016, also form a part of this programme. Today however, I will be looking at the official Independent Finland 100 Years collector coins in both gold and silver.
During a special launch event for the coins held on November 30th of 2016 Pekka Timonen, General Secretary of the Finland 100 programme, had the following to say about the importance of commemorative coins such as these :
”Collector coins represent permanence. When we are celebrating an even better Finland 50 years from now, these are the moments we will recall when looking at the collector coin of Finland's independence,”
First up is the silver ten Euro collectors coin. The coin is unique from a design perspective as it was completely designed by two high school students, as a part of a competition that was held as part of the programme. The obverse was designed by Saara Peltomäki(15 years old), from Jyväskylä and the reverse side by Jennifer Tuomisto(16 years old), from Turku.
The obverse of the coin depicts an outline of Finland at the centre surrounded by growth rings expanding outwards towards the rim. This serves as a symbolic map Finland's years of independence. From a mere sapling in 1917 to a century old giant with deep roots in 2017. The mintmark of The Mint of Finland can be found slightly offset towards the top of the coin with the date,”2017”, towards the right.
The reverse of the coin is meant to convey the ideal of unity through diversity, and depicts two hands clasped in a handshake. The hand on the right is treated to a reverse proof finish, indicating that one hand is white and the other black. This symbolises the importance of coming together as a nation and working as one towards a brighter future. The reverse legend reads : “SUOMI”, “10€” and “FINLAND”.
The silver Independent Finland 100 Years coin is shipped in a Mint of Finland presentation box and is only available in proof. The coin measures 28.5mm(1.122 inch) and is struck from .500 Fineness silver(Ag 500) for a total weight of 10gram(0.353 oz). A total mintage figure of 10 000 coins have been declared of which 100 coins will be randomly selected and placed in special numbered display cases. The coin can be ordered directly from the Mint of Finland and is being released for €38.00(US$40.50)each.
Also present at the before mentioned launch event was Finland's minister of finance, Petteri Orpo. He had the privilege to introduce the gold Independent Finland 100 Years coin with the following comments :
”The gold Independent Finland 100 Years coin whose sample was struck today is minted of Finnish gold, with Finnish experience and expertise. It is the perfect embodiment of the unique journey shared by the Finnish people and their 100-year-old country”
The reverse of the gold coin features a stunning mosaic design that is arranged to resemble the outline of the map of Finland to the right of the coin, when viewed from the correct angle. The legend appears to the left, arranged in two vertical lines from bottom to top and reads : “SUOMI”, “FINLAND” and “100 EURO”.
The obverse features a similar mosaic pattern in the background, but with a series of lines spiralling in a clockwise direction imposed onto the foreground. The lines steadily increase in length and are meant to convey Finland's population growth in the hundred years since 1917. The dates of “1917” and “2017” can be found at either end of the spiral. The mintmark of the mint of Finland can be seen towards the lower left of the design.
The proof 22mm(0.866 inch) coin is struck from Finnish gold of .917 Fineness, to achieve a total weight of 5.65gram(0.2oz). The gold coin will have a limited mintage of only 3000 coins and is shipped encapsulated in a wooden display case expertly crafted by Finnish carpenters. The coin is denominated as a €100 coin and is available to order directly from the Mint of Finland for €529.00(US$562.50), alternatively you can contact your trusted international coin dealer to obtain one on your behalf.