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Finland: Gold coin issued in celebration of centenary anniversary of the University of Turku

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The Finnish Ministry of Finance has authorised the issue (28th February) of new collector coins produced in gold to mark the centenary anniversary of the University of Turku, one of the country’s premier institutions of higher learning.

Established in 1920 and located in the city of Turku, the University of Turku, is, by student enrolment, the third-largest. Although there was a niversity in the town of Turku as far back as 1640, the faculty of what was the Royal Academy of Turku was transferred to Helsinki after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, which had destroyed more than 75 percent of the city. With Finland having declared their independence from the remnants of the Russian Empire after the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in 1917, the need for a wholly Finnish university, which would be the first of its kind, was apparent to much of the intelligentsia and provisional government. A funding campaign was established to which a total of 22,040 Finns contributed to. In honour of these 22,040 contributors, the newly established university commissioned a special liqueur which was specifically named “22,040,” with the recipe paying particular homage to some of the distinctive fruits of the Finnish locale, namely the cloudberry, the rowan, and the sea buckthorn.

The university’s own motto, Vapaan kansan lahja vapaalle tieteelle, translating to “From a free people to free science and learning,” is also in recognition of the gift of learning to the people of the nation. The grand opening in 1922 was attended by many governmental dignitaries as well as the university’s first rector, Artturi H. Virkkunen (1864–1924), who served in this capacity until his death.

The location of the first university was initially in the city’s central Market Square, but as they expanded, a new purpose-built campus was relocated to what is today known as University Hill. In January 2010, the Turku School of Economics merged with the University of Turku, forming a seventh faculty of the university. Today, the University of Turku includes an enrolment of approximately 20,000 students, 5,000 of which are postgraduate students having completed their MSc or MA. The largest faculties currently are the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science and Technology.

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The coins are produced by the Suomen Moneta, part of the Samlerhuset Group, who are the official manufacturers and distributors of Finnish collector coins and coin sets on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. The obverse and reverse design is the work of graphic artist Petri Neuvonen. The concept is called the Neural Network and features grid patterns on an abstract level; the designs are meant to represent the interaction between universities and society.

Denom.

Metal

Weight Diameter Quality

Maximum Mintage

100 euro

.917 Gold

 5.65 g 22 mm Proof

 1,920

Of the maximum mintage of 1,920 pieces, 500 will be numbered and will be available for an additional cost. For more information about this coin, please visit the website of the Suomen Moneta.

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