Slovak commemorative 2 euro coins - 20th anniversary of the “Day of fight for freedom and democracy”
A commemorative 2 Euro coin was issued by Slovakia on November 17, 2009, to mark the twentieth anniversary. The coin depicts a bell with a key adjoining the clapper. Ursula K. Le Guin wrote a short story, "Unlocking the Air", in which the jingling of keys played a central role in the liberation of a fictional country called Orsinia.
One element of the demonstrations of the Velvet Revolution was the jingling of keys to signify support. The practice had a double meaning—it symbolized the unlocking of doors and was the demonstrators' way of telling the Communists, "Goodbye, it's time to go home".
Description: The inner part of the coin depicts a stylised bell made up of a series of keys. This recalls the demonstration on 17 November 1989, when marching citizens shook their keyrings to make a jangling sound. This marked the beginning of the Velvet Revolution. To the bottom right of the design are the artist’s mark and the mint mark of the Slovak Mint (Mincovňa Kremnica). The design is surrounded above by the legend 17. NOVEMBER SLOBODA – DEMOKRACIA and the dates 1989–2009 and below by the name of the issuing country SLOVENSKO. The twelve stars of the European Union surround the design on the outer ring of the coin.
Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)
Design: Pavol Károly, School of Applied Arts, Kremnica, is credited with the design of the Slovak 2009 €2 Euro Commemorative coin.
Designer/ Engraver Inscriptions: 'PK' - Stylized initials of the designer.
€2 Edge Inscription: The €2 coin edge inscription is 'SLOVENSKÁ REPUBLIKA', followed by three symbols; star - linden leaf - star:
Legend: NOVEMBER SLOBODA — DEMOKRACIA
Mint Location: Mincovňa Kremnica (MK) (Kremnica Mint), in Kremnica, Slovakia.
Mint Marks: Mintmark of the Kremnica Mint: the mint's logo. Located in the middle of the lower right quadrant, inner circle.
National Identification: Text: 'SLOVENSKO'; Local short form of Slovakia.
Issuing volume: 1 million coins
Date of issue: 17 November 2009
Face value: 2 euro
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.5 gr
Composition BiAlloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupronickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass
On November 17, 1989 (International Students' Day), riot police suppressed a student demonstration in Prague. That event sparked a series of demonstrations from November 19 to late December. By November 20, the number of protesters assembled in Prague had grown from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated 500,000. A two-hour general strike involving all citizens of Czechoslovakia was held on November 27. On November 24, the entire top leadership of the Communist Party, including General Secretary Miloš Jakeš, resigned.
In response to the collapse of other Warsaw Pact governments and the increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28 that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. Two days later, the legislature formally deleted the sections of the Constitution giving the Communists a monopoly of power. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On December 10, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29, 1989.
In June 1990, Czechoslovakia held its first democratic elections since 1946.
The term Velvet Revolution was coined by Rita Klímová, the dissidents' English translator who later became the ambassador to the United States. The term was used internationally to describe the revolution, although the Czechs also used the term internally. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Slovakia used the term Gentle Revolution, the term that Slovaks used for the revolution from the beginning. The Czech Republic continues to refer to the event as the Velvet Revolution.