The State Mint Sales Department of the German Finance Ministry, now known as Munze Deutschland (formerly the Verkaufsstelle für Sammlermünzen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), has released (20th February) its latest collector €20 silver coins which are in celebration of the 250th birthday of one of the world’s most celebrated composers of classical music.
The story of the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven started in Bonn. However, his actual birthday was never actually recorded, but his baptism date is given as the 17th December 1770, and most scholars accept the 16th December 1770 as his date of birth. It was under his father’s strict wing that little Ludwig began his musical education. Young Ludwig’s first compositions were composed at the age of 13 while the prodigy was studying at Bonn University. In 1792, at the age of 22, he moved to Vienna and surrounded himself with the musical greats of that time. Among them was Joseph Haydn, who considered Ludwig a master student, and soon found himself confronted with Beethoven’s insatiable thirst for knowledge and experimentation.
A tireless perfectionist, Ludwig van Beethoven, would, during his lifetime, compose about 340 works that included sonatas, piano concerts, string quartets, symphonies, and, most notably, the opera Fidelio. A keen sense of duty characterised Beethoven’s personality, and despite the early onset of hearing loss, which ultimately resulted in complete deafness, his name would become synonymous with musical greatness.
His masterpiece, the Ninth Symphony in D minor, premiered in 1824, at which time Beethoven was already completely deaf. Sadly, he heard neither the play nor the enthusiastic applause that broke out in Vienna’s Kärntnertortheater after the last note was played. Ludwig van Beethoven died three years later at the age of 56 on the 26th March 26, 1827, in his adopted country of Austria. At the time of his death, he had already begun what would have been his 10th symphony.
The Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg produces the 20-euro collector Proof quality coins at their facilities in Stuttgart. They include the “F” mintmark to denote their place of production. The design is the work of Hannes Dauer, of Schönbrunn-Steinsdorf, who depicts the composer in a front-facing image, his hand being held up to his left ear in recognition of Beethoven’s eventual deafness later in his life. The image is surrounded with the text LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN – 250 GEBURTSTAG 1770 – 1827 and 12 stars representing the EU.
The reverse side includes a stylised eagle centred, the lettering BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, the face value of 20 EURO, and the year of issue. The mintmark “F” of the Stuttgart State Mint, as well as the 12 stars of the European Union, complete the design. The indication of SILVER 925 is imprinted below and to the right of the eagle. The smooth edge includes incused lettering WAHRE KUNST BLEIBT UNVERGAENGLICH ●.
|18 g||32.5 mm||Proof||
Available from the German Finance Ministry’s newly re-branded retail sales arm, the coins are sold separately or as part of the 2020-dated Proof set which is available towards the end of 2020. For more information, please visit their website.
Munze Deutschland — re-branded from the German Finance Ministry’s retail side for the sale of collector coins, the new name was launched during the World Money Fair’s Media Forum on the 31st January by Betinna Hagedorn, state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance. The former name, Verkaufsstelle für Sammlermünzen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (VfS), was originally launched in November 1967. On the occasion of the 1972 Summer Olympiad, the VfS was responsible for the sale of the commemorative coin programme, reaching an international audience for the first time. In 2002, the VfS began retailing gold euro-denominated coins which were the first-ever German Federal Republic gold coins issued.