30 Years of Croatian Independence
June 25, 2021, marked the 30th anniversary of independence in Croatia. In 1991, barely three months after the outbreak of the Croatian War of Independence, the Croatian parliament made the historic decision to separate the nation from the Yugoslav Federation. The decision was preceded by a referendum in which 93.24% of the people voted for a sovereign and independent Croatia. 92.18% of the votes required to leave the federation.
To mark the occasion, the Croatian National Bank, in cooperation with the Croatian Monetary Institute, is issuing two special coin sets that focus on an important symbol of Croatia’s sovereignty: the first circulation coins of the young nation.
Only very few of these sets will be produced: the gold set has a mintage of only 30 units, while the silver set has a mintage of 300.
The Croatian Kuna
The Republic of Croatia uttered its own circulation coins on 30 May 1994: the Croatian kuna (HRK) replaced the Croatian dinar. Introduced on December 23, 1991, the transitional currency of sovereign Croatia had only existed in the form of banknotes.
The set of Croatian circulation coins is composed of nine denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 lipa, as well as 1, 2, and 5 kuna. All coins below one kuna feature typical plants of the country on the reverse, while higher denominations depict three typical animals of Croatia.
The common feature of the larger denominations – 1, 2, and 5 kuna – is the depiction of a marten (Croat. kuna) on the reverse. It refers to the fact that taxes and duties were paid in marten skins in medieval Croatia. Thus, the depiction of a marten found its way onto the oldest pieces of Croatian coinage. The marten links the modern kuna to the historical roots of the Croatian nation.
The reverse of smaller denominations – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 lipa – features a linden leaf. The linden tree (Croat. lipa) is considered a sacred tree of the Slavs. In Croatian, the month of June is named after this tree.
The design of all circulation coins is by the well-known Croatian sculptor Kuzma Kovačić, who has designed many Croatian commemorative coins since then. Mr. Kovačić (*1952) is a professor at the Arts Academy in Split and a member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
The Coin Sets
The Croatian Monetary Institute is issuing coin sets with a special packaging containing the nine denominations of the Croatian kuna featuring the anniversary year 2021 with a mintage number of only 30 pieces for the gold version and 300 pieces for the silver version.
The renowned Croatian design studio Izvorka Jurić, Izvorka Jurić, and Jelena Gvozdanović created the “Croatian cube”, which was designed in a special way in order to be used as a representative small showcase. The design of the precious wooden sculpture picks up two elements: Its chessboard-like fields are reminiscent of the Croatian coat of arms, which is colloquially referred to as “chessboard”. Moreover, the Croatian cube has been inspired by the treasure chests that are typical of Croatia: they appear to be inconspicuous from the outside and reveal their valuable content only when a secret opening mechanism is activated.
While the Croatian cube for the gold coins is made of oak and olive wood, the cube for the silver coins is made of oak and linden wood.
Issue Date and Price
The coin sets can be purchased directly from the shop of the Croatian Monetary Institute at www.hnz.hr/en/news/gold-and-silver-numismatic-sets-limited-edition. For inquiries and further information please write an e-mail at [email protected].
The issue price including tax for the silver set is HRK 5,000 (about $792 USD); for the gold set, HRK 100,000 (about $15,831 USD).