The 21st century brings a number of significant anniversaries. In the year 2014 we commemorate – among others – one hundredth anniversary of the formation of the Czechoslovak legion. The Czech National Bank pays tribute to these brave men by issuing a silver coin with a nominal value of CZK 200 in proof quality struck by Czech Mint. The design for the silver coin with a motif of the formation of the Czechoslovak legion was created by Luboš Charvát, winner of the nation-wide competition organized by CNB. The jury especially appreciated the quality of depiction of all components of the legion on both sides, including the Serbian volunteers on the reverse where the scene is accompanied by an inscription VZNIK ČESKOSLOVENSKÝCH LEGIÍ (Formation of the Czechoslovak Legion) and the years 1914–014. The obverse side features the flag with the symbol of the Czechoslovak legion.
Units of the Czechoslovak legion were formed during WW1 in Russia, Italy and France. Ethnic Czechs and Slovaks then volunteered to fight for the establishment of independent Czechoslovak state and were later joined by those who deserted to the other side of the front. They created independent units which fought for the sovereignty of their countries together with soldiers of the Entente Powers (the Allies). Far from home they risked their lives for national ideals, but their merits were often ignored. The totalitarian regime established in Czechoslovakia after WW2 even regarded them as traitors. However, without their bravery the dream about an independent state could not most likely be fulfilled.
The silver coin commemorates the significance of their deeds, and for the depth of its message it should not definitely be missing in your collection.