The Royal Dutch Mint released (28th November) new gold and silver coins as part of their “Dutch Sport Icons” series. The third sportsman in the annual series honours one of the country’s most accomplished athletes in both ice skating and cycling who remains one of the Netherlands’ most admired skating and cycling legends. Jaap Eden (1873–1925) became the Netherlands’ greatest skating legend at the end of the 19th century.
The coins are struck in Proof quality in both gold and silver and are designed by artist Wineke Gartz. On the reverse side of the coins, whose designs are shared on all options, skater Jaap Eden is skating towards his spectators in the manner of a great champion. It even reminds us a little bit of the harsh winters of the past with the deep-lying scratches, which are incused on the surface in the ice, offering the authentic appearance of a Dutch landscape.
On the obverse, the ice skating scratches are replicated once again, but in relief. The superimposed scratches on the mirror-like background form a radiant background for the stylised portrait of sports and skating enthusiast HM King Willem-Alexander.
|Five euro||Silver-plated||10. 5 g||29 mm||Unc.||60,000|
|Five euro||Silver-plated||10. 5 g||29 mm||Brilliant Unc.||15,000|
|Five euro||.925 Silver||15.5 g||33 mm||Proof||*4,500|
|10 euro||.900 Gold||6.72 g||22.5 mm||Proof||1,000|
All coins are available to order since the 28th November with the dispatch of all coins commencing on the 30th December. The silver Proof coin is presented in a colourful folder and includes several images of world champion athlete Jaan Eden.
Both the Uncirculated and Brilliant Uncirculated €5 coin are sealed in a coin-card format.
The €10 gold Proof quality coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom wood-branded Royal Dutch Mint case, along with a certificate of authenticity.
A special two-piece set with a limited presentation of 500 is being made available and includes the Jaap Eden *€5 silver coin (part of the total mintage for this coin) and a specially minted cupro-nickel Jaap Eden cycling medal.
For additional information about these coins and others available from the Royal Dutch Mint, please visit their website.
The Legend from the Lowlands, Jaap Eden (1873–1925)
Jacobus Johannes Eden was born on the 19th October 1873 in the city of Groningen. He would become one of the Netherlands’ greatest skating legends by the end of the 19th century. Although achieving this status more than 100 years ago, his exceptional achievements are still widely recognised in his homeland renowned as a skating country. As a child, Jaap Eden was very active in sports. At the age of 15, he was discovered by Klaas Pander (1867–1940) eminent skater and the cyclist who was the first Dutch skater to gain international notoriety. He became Eden’s skating trainer, and under his guidance, Jaap won his first skating competition in December 1890. His international debut followed a year later, and in 1893 he won his first world title at the age of 19. The following year he would go on to break two world records, of which his record on the five kilometres lasted 17 years. He improved his own world record with the 10 kilometres a year later. In 1895, competing in Hamar, Norway, and in 1896 at St. Petersburg, Russia, he won the world title again.
Aside from being a proficient and noteworthy skater, Jaap was also successful as a cyclist, having achieved notoriety with a world championship prize in 1894 and a world record in the 1,000 meters in 1896. Jaap was very popular with the public, and, without knowing it, laid the foundation of Dutch identity as a skating country.
In terms of his personal life, he married in 1914 and became the father of a son born the year after. Unfortunately, his career in sports was short-lived, and by the time of his son’s birth, he had already ended the competition. He had very limited success professionally, which included a bicycle shop in Rotterdam that did not become viable. A variation of odd-jobs followed this failure; his former success as a world-class athlete was not able to provide for him and his family. Having sold his trophies and prizes, and never having returned to the ice rink or cycle racing, he died on the 2nd February 1925 at the age of 51. Ironically, he achieved more considerable notoriety after his death. For example, the Jaap Eden Ice Rink was opened in Amsterdam in 1961 and the annual Dutch sports prize “Athlete of the Year” was named after him in 1972.
To this day, he remains the only male athlete to win world championships in both speed skating and bicycle racing.