€20 silver collector coin

The Dubník opal mines conservation area

The old opal mines of Dubník in eastern Slovakia, in the northern part of the Slanské Hills, were established to extract world renowned deposits of precious opal – the most beautiful gemstone found in Europe. Until the discovery of the opal fields in Mexico and Australia in the 19th centrury, Dubník was the only site of opal mining in the world. The Dubník mines were developed mainly between 1845 and 1880, when they were leased to the Goldschmidt family of Vienna. The largest precious opal to come from the Dubník field was found in 1771 at the surface. It weighed 607 grams and was named Harlekýn. Opal mining at Dubník ended in 1922, but efforts are currently being made to reopen the mines despite the failure of previous attempts to do so.
The extensive mineworkings have become a wintering site for 16 species of bat, including the Geoffroy's bat, for which they are the most important known wintering site in Slovakia. In 1964 the Dubník mines were categorised as a conservation habitat, and in 1964 they were recategorised as a conservation area. Since 2004 the Dubník mines have also been classified as a Site of European Importance for nature conservation.

Description of the coin

Obverse:

Obverse:

The obverse of the coin portrays the historic Isabella’s necklace decorated with Dubník opals, accompanied in the background with the silhouette of a bat, for which the Dubník mines are an important wintering site. The bottom part of the coin bears the national emblem of the Slovak Republic and above it the year of issue, 2014. The name of the state SLOVENSKO is inscribed on the left side of the coin.


 

Reverse:

Reverse:

The reverse of the coin features the silhouette of a bat in the mine’s interior. The bottom portrays the entrance to the “Jozef” tunnel which is characteristic for the Dubník mines. The upper part bears the inscriptions NÁLEZISKO OPÁLOV (“opal field”) and DUBNÍCKE BANE (“Dubník mines”). Stylised initials of the coin designer Mária Poldaufová, MP, and the Kremnica Mint mark are located at the bottom edge of the coin.

Coin’s data

Designer: Mária Poldaufová
Material: Ag 925, Cu 75 
Weight: 33,63 g
Diameter: 40 mm
Edge: inscription: “OSOBITOSTI PRÍRODY SLOVENSKA” (Special features of Slovak nature)
Producer: Kremnica Mint
Engraver: Dalibor Schmidt
Number of pieces minted:

brilliant uncirculated quality: 2,750
proof quality: 5,300

Issuing date: 18 June 2014

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