Results of the public anonymous competition for the design of a €20 silver collector coin featuring the Dubník opal mines conservation area

First prize and the selected design
Mária Poldaufová

First prize and the selected design                      First prize and the selected design

Second prize
Mgr. art. Roman Lugár

Second prize                     Second prize

Third prize
Mgr. art. Miroslav Hric, ArtD.

Third prize                     Third prize

In June 2013 Národná banka Slovenska (NBS) announced a public anonymous competition for the design of a €20 silver collector coin featuring the conservation area of Dubník opal mines. The Dubník mines (Dubnícke bane) are a unique location of international importance, known for its unique and precious opal fields, as well as for the largest wintering site of bats in Slovakia. Twelve designs by eleven designers were entered in the competition. In September 2013 the entries were judged by the NBS Governor’s Committee for the Assessment of Designs for Slovak Euro Coins. The expert advisors to the Committee were RNDr. Jana Durkošová, representative of the Slovak Ministry of Environment, and Ing. Alena Bachingerová from the Prešov Regional Nature Conservation Centre of the State Nature Conservation Board of the Slovak Republic.

Based on recommendations from the expert committee the NBS Bank Board approved the design by Mária Poldaufová, which won the first prize. The Committee appreciated the balance between the obverse and reverse, which is based on a contrast of stylised and relief elements. This design was deemed to best meet the criteria as regards the opal mining aspect as well as that of the site’s nature conservation. The obverse depicts one of the oldest jewels set with Dubník opals – the Isabela’s necklace, with a bat’s silhouette in the background. The reverse features the entrance to the “Jozef” tunnel which is characteristic for the Dubník mines. The background features a detailed picture of the mine’s interior covered with a bat’s silhouette with a slightly translucent wing. A remarkable detail is the use of the shape of a cut opal in the words “NÁLEZISKO OPÁLOV” (“opal field”).

Mgr. art. Roman Lugár, who took an interesting approach to the topic, was awarded the second prize. The obverse of his design features the entrance to the “Jozef” tunnel with a bell above it. The bell, which was originally placed in the opal mines’ main office in Dubník, bears the name of S.J.N. Goldschmidt, whose family developed and supported opal mining in Dubník and promoted opals from this location abroad. The bell is also a symbol of the dangerous and unsafe life of miners. The composition is completed with a miners’ emblem bearing a cross. The reverse is dominated by a relief map of the Slánske vrchy region where the Dubník mines are located. The opal fields are marked with a set cut opal.

The design by Mgr. art. Miroslav Hric, ArtD won the third prize. The topic is depicted with a detailed structure of a mining scene in relief with true depictions of bats on the obverse. The reverse’s plentiful composition features the Isabela’s necklace. In the background there stand the figures of two miners before the entrance to the “Jozef” tunnel which passes into the Slánske vrchy structure.

The silver collector coin is due to be issued in June 2014.