YEREVAN (Armradio.am) — Central Bank of Armenia commemorative coin triumphed in an Italian competition for Best Coin of the Year.

The Central Bank of Armenia was awarded Best Coin of the Year at a numismatic fair held in Italy earlier this month.

Armenia’s winning entry was a silver commemorative coin dedicated to the 500th anniversary of book printing in the country. Judges commented on the “clever and original combination” of modern and classic imagery.

It was chosen ahead of a Kazakh coin that celebrates the exploration of space.

coinDiplomaThe Italian competition – organised by Vicenza Numismatica – featured a separate award designed to recognise the best coin design with an architectural subject. The winner was a Belarussian coin depicting the evolution of a railway station in Minsk, while a colourful offering from Macau took second place, Central Banking reports.

Five hundred pieces of the winning Armenian coin were minted, and they entered into circulation in 2012. Each coin has a nominal value of 1,000 Armenian dram ($2.50).

The first Armenian book – ‘Urbatagirq’ – was printed by Hakob Meghapart in 1512. The central bank described it as a collection of prayers and wishes that notably featured the Book of Lamentations by Grigor Narekatsi – a poem renowned for “the sincere immediacy of its communication with God”.

The reverse of the coin features an image of Urbatagirq itself, a copy of the stamp used by Meghapart to mark his books, and an intricately designed scene from Venice – the city where his work was first launched.

The obverse, meanwhile, celebrates the decision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to make Yerevan, the Armenian capital, the World Book Capital in 2012, a title that has since passed to Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

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