Hungarian Doctor Known as “Saviour of Mothers” Honoured on Coins

10 Jul 2017  Mon

The National Bank of Hungary will be releasing silver 10,000-forint and copper-nickel 2,000-forint commemorative coins to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Ignac Semmelweis. Born on 1st July 1818, Semmelweis is also known as “saviour of mothers” for discovering that “childbed fever” was not a disease but an infection spread by doctors. However, many lives were lost due to the infection even several years after the discovery. Finally, healthier practices were followed based on Semmelweis’s findings.

The obverse features a portrait of Semmelweis along with his initial, and the year dates 1818–1865, marking his birth and death years. The reverse features a hospital scene where Semmelweis is washing his hands, with a mother and baby in the background. A bottle containing chlorinated lime and the hand-washing activity is highlighted.

Both coins have a diameter of 38.61 millimetres and a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces. The 31.46 grams Proof .925 silver 10,000-forint coin costs $68.75 while the 30.8 grams Uncirculated copper-nickel 2,000-forint coin can be purchased for $19.95.

Image Courtesy: National Bank of Hungary

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