15,000 forint - Sopron, the most loyal town
To mark the centenary of the referendum held in Sopron between 14 and 16 December 1921, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a silver commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 15,000 and a non-ferrous metal commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 3,000, titled ‘Sopron, the Most Loyal Town’. The special, square shaped commemorative coins were designed by sculptor Tamás E. Soltra. On 14-15 and then on 16 December 1921, the residents of Sopron and Brennbergbánya, belonging to the municipality of Sopron, and of another eight neighbouring or nearby settlements (Ágfalva, Balf, Fertőboz, Fertőrákos, Harka, Kópháza, Nagycenk, Sopronbánfalva), had to decide by referendum whether they should belong to Hungary or join Austria. The plebiscite marked the final stage of a protracted conflict around the affiliation of Western Hungary, which resulted from the division of territories following the First World War. As a result of the referendum held in Sopron and the surrounding settlements, the military inter-allied commission gave back Sopron and the eight settlements around it to the Hungarian State on 1 January 1922, in accordance with the Venice Protocol. This marked the only serious territorial revision of the Treaty of Trianon which the superpowers accepted as a long-term political settlement. The referendum in its favour earned Sopron the epithet ‘Civitas Fidelissima’, the ‘Most Loyal Town’. The Hungarian Government declared 14 December, the first day of referendum, the Day of Loyalty. To commemorate the centenary of the critical referendum, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a silver commemorative coin with a face value of HUF 15,000 and its non-ferrous metal version with a face value of HUF 3,000. The upper left hand side of the obverse features a portrait, in a rectangular frame, of Mihály Thurner, the Mayor of Sopron who played an important role in the preparation and conduct of the referendum, and in winning both local and nationwide public support. The inscription ‘THURNER MIHÁLY’ runs vertically from the right of the portrait. The portrait is surrounded by the inscription ‘A LEGHŰSÉGESEBB VÁROS SOPRON’ (The Most Loyal Town Sopron), running from the lower left corner to the upper right corner. The mint mark ‘BP.’ is placed next to the lower right corner of the portrait, with the inscription ‘MAGYARORSZÁG’ positioned below. The right hand side of the obverse bears a depiction of the Fire Tower, the symbol of Sopron, in a square frame, together with the denominations ‘15000’ and ‘3000’, and the inscription ‘FORINT’. The reverse honours the memory of the Sopron plebiscite. It bears a representation of a group of voters in a square shaped frame, which was inspired by a contemporary film footage. The historical coat of arms of Sopron is positioned above the representation, on the left hand side. The inscriptions ‘CIVITAS’ and ‘FIDELISSIMA’ as well as the years ‘1921-2021’ are placed to the right of the arms, set in three lines. The year 1921 refers to the year of the referendum and the year 2021 is the mint year representing the year of issue. A detail of the representation of a contemporary stamped voting slip is placed in the opening of a ballot box in the lower left hand corner of the reverse, with the country’s name written in Hungarian, German and Croatian – ‘Magyarország’, ‘Ungarn’, ‘Ugersko’. The master mark of sculptor and coin designer Tamás E. Soltra features on the edge of the reverse, on the lower right hand side, imposed on the representation of the ballot box.