The present

Neu-Guinea, 5 Mark 1894 (left); Weimarer Republik, 3 Mark 1927 (right)

The 20th century represents the perfection of coin minting. The mint masters of the past working until the beginning of the modern age considered their work as miniature art. The engravers of the 2oth century had to take into consideration the minting machines and the coin automats. Nevertheless many countries know how to mint coins that are technically as well as artistically of prime quality. Regretfully these coins are not available at nominal value, the collector must often pay a high surcharge.

Eidgenossenschaft, 20 Franken 1995/Rätische Schlangenkönigin

With the minting by machine a new technique was made possible. The so called "proof" coins were produced with a mirror-like surface, Legends and the relief were matte. This effect was attained by a special treatment of the coin planchet and the coin dies before mintage ensued.