After mass demonstrations by a unified opposition in 1989, free elections were held in Hungary, and resulted in a new parliament convening on May 2, 1990. When the last occupying Soviet solider left the country on June 19, 1991, the goals for which the heroes of the 1956 uprising sacrificed were finally realized.
In commemoration, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary) issued a pair of coins of exceptionally high size and weight – a silver coin of 30,000 forints, and a 3,000 forint copper nickel version.
Both have a diameter of 59.75 mm (2.35 inches). They are called “30 Years of Freedom”, and were officially issued on May 2, 2020, the 30th anniversary of the freely-elected National Assembly’s first meeting.
The obverse is based on an iconic, 1989 campaign poster by István Orosz, showing the new coat of arms crushing the socialist elements of old one. The reverse’s upper field shows a symbolic four young trees breaking through a brick wall, an allegory of the democratic efforts to break down and destroy the old system of state socialism. The upper legend translates to “30 Years of Freedom”.
The lower section highlights the most significant stages and events of the political transition, with the key dates in nine lines, as follows:
- ʻEGYÜTT A SZABADSÁGÉRTʼ (TOGETHER FOR FREEDOM)
- ʻKözös ellenzéki demonstráció 1989. március 15.ʼ (Joint Rally of the Opposition 15 March 1989)
- ʻEllenzéki Kerekasztalʼ 1989. március 22. (Round Table Talks of the Opposition 22 March 1989)
- ʻSZABAD VÁLASZTÁSOKʼ (FREE ELECTIONS)
- ʻ1990. március 25. és április 8.ʼ (25 March and 8 April 1990)
- ʻFÜGGETLEN MAGYARORSZÁGʼ (INDEPENDENT HUNGARY)
- ʻAz utolsó szovjet katonaʼ / ʻelhagyja az országotʼ / ʻ1991. június 19.ʼ (The last soldier of the Soviet army / leaves Hungary / 19 June 1991)
The master mark of Balázs Bitó, the coin’s designer, is located on the right, above the collapsing wall. The silver coin is limited to a run of 5,000 coins in Proof quality only. It contains 93.31 grams (3 ounces) of .925 silver. It costs $139.75. The copper-nickel version weighs a hundred grams and has an issue limit of 7,000 pieces. Its price is $25.75.
To order, or for more information on these and other coins of Hungary, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. Toll-free 1-800-421-1866. Fax 802-536-4787. Email: [email protected], or click on the Hungarian flag at www.coin-currency.com for secure website ordering. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Shipping to other countries will be based on actual cost. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those desiring to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their email address to [email protected].