The Mint of Finland’s follows up its Karl Fazer coin with one commemorating the architect of Finlands public schooling system, Uno Cygnaeus. His accomplishments also include the initiation of high class teacher training, emphasizing the importance of women’s education and most importantly introducing the use of crafts as a mandatory subject in the school curriculum. In 2016, 150 years will have elapsed since the passing of the Folk School Decree and the Finnish mint has released a silver coin to celebrate the anniversary.

There are two versions of the coin, a €10 0.500 silver coin of 10g in weight and a mintage of 10,000. Selling for €38.00, the coin comes boxed, and mixed in with the mintage are just 100 randomly mixed in coins that have a serial number struck into the coins reverse, but like that elusive trading card, won’t know if you’ll get one until you open the box.  The €20 version has an identical reverse face, but is struck in sterling (0.925) silver and weighs 25.5g. Limited to 5,000 pieces, there will also be 100 special, numbered coins, but in this case they can be purchased sight seen. The numbered coins are packaged in an unusual glass case, but carry a premium of €39.00 over standard version by selling for €100.00 instead of €61.00.

Another one of the mints very local subjects, we can’t imagine the Finnish public school system founder travelling well as a theme, but the Mint of Finland’s design style does, and it’s much in evidence here. Available from the 17th March.


The Uno Cygnaeus and Folk Schooling collector coin is a fantastic addition to your own collection or a great gift to anyone working with or appreciating Finnish education.

The collector coin designed by Petri Neuvonen is replete with symbolism related to teaching and learning. Many generations of young Finns have learned to read under the wing of the ABC Rooster gracing the coin’s reverse. On the obverse, children have put up the year 1866, the year in which the Folk School Act was passed, on the classroom window.

The maximum mintage of the proof-quality EUR 20 silver Uno Cygnaeus and folk schooling collector coin is 5,000, and 100 coins will be numbered. The coins are numbered on the reverse, and the numbered coins are sold separately in beautiful glass cases. The maximum mintage of the EUR 10 silver Uno Cygnaeus and folk schooling collector coin is 10,000, and 150 coins will be numbered. The number is stamped on the coin’s reverse, and the numbered coins will be mixed into the mintage at random.

Proof-quality Uno Cygnaeus and folk schooling collector coins are minted with a polished die, finished, and placed in a protective clear plastic casing set in a gift box that tells the coin’s story.

Uno Cygnaeus –  the father of Finland’s public school system

Uno Cygnaeus (1810–1888) is known as the father of Finland’s public school system. Cygnaeus was a travelled clergyman and Master of Science whose calling was the improvement of folk schooling. In the course of his work, he studied schools and teaching in Alaska and St. Petersburg and made study trips to the Baltic states and Central Europe, among other places. The proposal for the organisation of folk schooling in Finland, published by Cygnaeus in 1861, was a turning point for public schooling in Finland.

The plan proposed identical basic schooling for everyone and emphasised the role of handicrafts and practical skills in addition to theoretical subjects. Indeed, Finland was the first to introduce handicrafts (sloyd) into the curriculum, where it remains to this day. In 2016, 150 years will have elapsed from the passing of the Folk School Decree.




€10 EURO 0.500 SILVER 10 g 28.50 mm PROOF 10,000 (100 numbered) YES / YES
€20 EURO 0.925 SILVER 25.5 g 38.60 mm PROOF 5,000 (100 numbered) YES / YES