The first Netherlands commemorative coin of 2018 is dedicated to the city of Leeuwarden, designated as the European Culture Capital for 2018. The city is the capital of the province of Friesland and is a 1.5-hour drive north of Amsterdam. Much of the province is below sea level and is known for huge protective dikes, waterways lined with swaying reeds, traditional old windmills, windswept beaches, and marshes rich with bird life. Leeuwarden has been inhabited since the 10th century and was granted the status of a city in 1435. Its most famous resident was Mata Hari, the exotic dancer who was convicted of spying for Germany during World War I and was executed by France.
Frieslanders are proud people known for their 11-city, 124-mile ice-skating race, the Elfstedentocht, held only when the weather is cold enough to freeze miles of canals. It was last held in 1997. The local Fries language is closer than any other to English.
The Royal Dutch Mint describes the obverse, with the legally-required head of King Willem-Alexander at its center, as “a sense of centuries-old Frisian craftsmanship techniques of woodcarving and mint craft come to life” through the use of modern digital and 3-D printing techniques. The result is what can be thought of as both a weathered seal and a contemporary object.
The reverse depicts some features symbolic of Friesland — the jewels of Mata Hari, the water, Frisian sailboats and horses, water lily leaves from the provincial flag, and the horn of culture and festivities.
Three versions, each a different metal, are being offered. A Proof .900 fine gold €10, weighing 6.72 grams and 22.5 millimeters in diameter, costs $575.00. It is limited to 1,000 pieces. A sterling silver .925 fine Proof weighing 15.5 grams, 33 millimeters in diameter, and restricted to a mintage of 5,000 coins, is $69.75. An Uncirculated €5 made of silver-plated copper is $22.95. It measures 29 millimeters and weighs 10.5 grams.
For more information on the coins, or to order, visit the website of the Coin & Currency Institute or contact the Coin & Currency Institute, P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. You can also call toll-free at 1-800-421-1866, fax 802-536-4787, or e-mail: Add $5.75 per order for shipping and handling. Vermont residents should add 6% sales tax. Major credit cards are accepted.
Press release courtesy of the Coin & Currency Institute.