Czech Mint remembers dissident President Vaclav Havel with new medal set

We don’t generally cover medallions here, but never let it be said we ignore the unusual niche on the odd occasion. This new set of three medals, available in either gold or silver, has been struck by the Czech Mint to commemorate what would have been the 80th birthday of a giant in Czech politics, Vaclav Havel.

The Czech Mint has already done a fine description of the medals in its press release which we’ve reproduced below, and they’re eminently more qualified to talk about a Czech icon than I am, so no regurgitation here, but the medals are worth a close look. Pretty clever in layout, each of them depicts an aspect of Havel’s life in such a way that when placed correctly, they form a greater image. All are arranged in a nice box to reveal the image, as can be seen below.

The other side of each medal carries a portrait of Havel, slightly different in each case to reflect a specific time in the ex-Presidents life. All looks of a very high quality, the work of a talented artist, expertly struck. Both the gold and silver carry identical designs on each face, the image below showing one side in silver and one in gold. As we said at the beginning, these are very much a niche product, but it’s important to know that in amongst the Odins and Star Treks and Disneys, there is still a numismatic core of classically themed releases celebrating the lesser know figures and subjects in the world.

There are 1,000 sets of silver medals and just 400 sets of gold available, it’s likely the latter having already sold out at the mint. A one-kilo medal is also available with a different design and a tight 100 mintage. For sale now.

COIN IMAGES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Playwright, dissident, President. The three cardinal phases in the life of Václav Havel are the inspiration of Jablonec medalist Vojtěch Dostál in his new set of commemorative medals currently being issued by the Czech Mint at Jablonec nad Nisou. The set will be available in two versions– gold and silver. Proceeds from its sale will go as usual to the projects of the the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97, with which the Mint has been associated for many years.

“This commission from the Czech Mint represented a great challenge for me and I thoroughly enjoyed designing the medals. I expressed the three different aspects of Václav Havel’s personality by slight variations in the modeling of the face, the hair and other details,” declared Vojtěch Dostál, the engraver.

Three medals– three portraits, each of them slightly different. Reading glasses emphasize the playwright’s philosophical detachment, while the unruly hair hints at the dissident’s reluctance to submit to the totalitarian regime. Although the President is outwardly restricted by a necktie and a formal suit, his lively gaze betrays that he has not changed inside. “There is no doubt in my mind that the commemorative medal with my husband’s portrait will continue to have a high value for years to come, just like his legacy as a statesman, philosopher and artist,” affirmed Mrs. Dagmar Havlová.

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CONTD….

“Our collaboration with the VIZE 97 Foundation helps to sustain the public’s awareness of Václav Havel as a President and statesman. Interest in the medals reassures us that his legacy lives on. It is no exaggeration to say that the issue of commemorative medals to the memory of Václav Havel in 2012 was the Mint’s greatest success in this decade,” Lukáš Jokl, marketing manager of the Czech Mint declared. The 2012 commemorative medals are now totally sold out and over the past four years their value has risen by 80%. “The numbered gold medals, of which there were only one hundred now trade at around 45,000 Czech Crowns, while the price at issue was set at 25,000 Czech Crowns. We are sure that there will be an equally positive response to the new medals, and they too will become a valuable and sought-after collector’s item,” Jokl added.

The obverse side of the medals depict aspects of Václav Havel’s different roles. His international contribution as a playwright is expressed in a collage of titles of his plays. His defiance as a dissident is symbolized by the “V for victory” sign of two raised fingers. His presidential role is represented by a silhouette of Prague Castle. “Arranged within a triangle the medals create the unmistakable “Havel heart” symbolizing truth and love that must vanquish lies and hatred,” Jokl explained.

The Czech Mint is currently launching the sale of gold and silver sets of commemorative medals. Four hundred sets in gold and one thousand in silver are available for purchase at a price of 41,950 Czech Crowns (gold) or 4,950 Czech Crowns (silver).

SPECIFICATION

COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA PRICE
0.999 SILVER 16 g x 3 34.0 mm PROOF  1,000 YES / YES €183.00
0.9999 GOLD 7.75 g x 3 22.0 mm PROOF  400 YES / YES €1553.00

MINT LINK

THE CZECH MINT