The Hungarian Mint released on 4th October 2021 the third issue in the “Hungarian sheep and hunting dog breeds” coin series dedicated to the Magyar Agar, or Hungarian Greyhound. The first two coins, the Vizsla and the Komondor, sold out at the Mint in Budapest within days, and the expectation is no different for this issue.
As the third coin in the series “Hungarian herding and hunting dogs”, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is issuing a 2,000-forint, non-ferrous coin entitled “Magyar agár”.
The central motif on the front is a half-profile image of a Hungarian agár looking left. The silhouette of the head and body clearly presents the characteristics of the breed. The back of the coin shows a Hungarian agár hunting on a grassy plain, with a mounted hunter in the background. The coin was designed by applied artist and metalworker Boglárka Imrei.
The 2,000 forint coin has a diameter of 34 mm with a smooth edge. It is struck in a gold-looking alloy of 75% copper, 4% nickel, and 21% zinc and weighs 16 grams.
The Hungarian Greyhound’s History
The origins of the Hungarian agár breed can be traced back to the 3rd millennium BC. It was brought to the Carpathian Basin with the Hungarians tribes, which used these sighthounds for hunting. The first records of the Hungarian agár date to the period of King Saint Stephen, when hunting with this breed was very popular, as it was later also under the reign of King Matthias Corvinus. King Matthias spent much time with his hounds, generally hunting on horseback. After the King’s death, hunting with agárs went into decline with the country divided into three parts.
Later, Count István Széchenyi once again popularized hunting with agárs, and the agár became a representative Hungarian breed. Back then agár racing became an exclusive social event, and associations formed which specialized in the breed and hunting with it.
After the Second World War, the breed almost completely disappeared. In 1963, attempts to find Hungarian agárs were made for the production of a film on King Matthias. The breed was extremely rare at that time. Hunter and nature cinematographer Kálmán Szigethy found a few of the remaining hounds, and thanks to his work the breed once again spread in Hungary and Europe.
In 2004, all of the Hungarian breeds, including the Hungarian agár, were declared a national treasure by the National Assembly, and in 2017 the breed was raised to the status of a Hungarikum.
The Hungarian agár can pursue its prey with great stamina and determination. It radiates a sense of strength and elegance and is an extremely smart breed. While it loves to run, it is not hyperactive. These hounds rest a good bit, but they do need movement and thus require regular exercise. The breed is highly sensitive, intelligent and affectionate, but never intrusive. They are ideal therapy dogs thanks to their calm demeanor.
The Magyar Agár has a strong bone structure and well-developed muscles. The breed’s short coat is dense, coarse, and smooth. Magyar Agárs develop a thick undercoat in the winter that protects them from harsh weather. These dogs come in all colors and combinations. It has a wedge-shaped head, long muzzle, and elegant, muscular neck. The breed’s dark eyes give an intelligent expression, and its rose ears are large and thick. These dogs also have a deep chest, well-arched ribs, tucked-up belly, and long, muscular legs.
Magyar Agárs are friendly dogs that make wonderful pets for people with active lifestyles. Though they can be a bit reserved, these pups usually get along great with other dogs and kids. Their loyal, protective nature also makes them excellent watchdogs.
For further information on this coin, visit the website of the Hungarian Mint.
And for more Hungarian coins check out the Cosmos of Collectibles database.
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If you love dogs, you might enjoy also the new Croatian coin dedicated to the Dalmatian.
Learn more about the Hungarian Greyhound in this video: