On 25th February, all eyes will be fixed on the 2018 Olympic Games that take place in South Korea. The 2018 Paralympic Games follow from March 8 to 18, also in South Korea. Like all host nations since 1952, South Korea has issued a suite of commemorative coins to celebrate the events.
The coins were released in two batches, the first series released in 2016 and comprised of one brass coin, eight silver coins, and two gold coins. The second release, late in 2017, featured two brass coins, eight silver coins, and two gold coins.
The most abundant coin in the program is the Proof brass (copper-zinc) 1,000-won coin released to celebrate several Winter Olympic sports. The coin’s obverse depicts athletes performing in snowboard, figure skating, skeleton, luge, biathlon, ice hockey, and curling, has a mintage of 71,000 pieces.The Proof coin weighs 26 grams and measures 40 millimeters in diameter.
The first series of coins also offers eight different silver 5,000-won coins, each celebrating a different sport on the “Ice-Speed” theme.
Each coin’s obverse shows an athlete or athletes engaged in the respective sport: short track speed skating, speed skating, curling, ice hockey, Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge, and biathlon. The Proof .9999 fine silver coins weigh 15.55 grams and measure 33 millimeters in diameter.
The silver coins have a mintage limit of 25,000 per design. Two Proof .999 fine gold coins complete the first series of Winter Olympic commemorative coins.
The 20,000-won coin depicts Alpensia Stadium and a ski jumping sequence. The coin weighs 15.55 grams and measures 28 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 15,000 pieces.
Alpensia Stadium is the main ski jump center for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and is a representative facility of the games.
The other gold coin, denominated 30,000 won, offers a link between South Korean culture and sports, showing the traditional type of skiing in Gangwon Province known as “gorosoi ski.”
The 30,000-won coin weighs 31.1 grams, measures 35 millimeters in diameter, and has a mintage limit of 4,500 pieces.
Image courtesy of APMEX, KOMSCO and Poongsan Hwadong