János Harsányi, the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize laureate in Economic Sciences, was born in Budapest on May 29, 1920. His primary field of research was game theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize with John Forbes Nash and Reinhard Selten in Economic Sciences “For his ground-breaking work in the area of non-cooperative game theory and equilibrium analysis.” In the field of game theory, they were the first scientists to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics. Harsányi’s game theory results have had impacts on the entire field of economics and people’s everyday lives until today. Its effects on arms control and disarmament and spectrum auctions are still present.
The Hungarian Mint issued a silver collector coin of 10,000 forints and a copper-nickel version of 2,000 forints on the 100th anniversary of the distinguished University of California in Berkeley researcher's birth.
The central motif on the obverse of the coin is a triangular, endless set of stairs representing a hierarchical structure. A railing breaks the circular line surrounding the central motif on the left, and a ladder emerging from the center of the stairs on the right. This is meant as a symbolic representation of Harsányi’s idea, for which he was awarded the Nobel. According to this, he swapped an infinite regression (represented by the set of stairs) with a much simpler phrase (represented by the ladder). The mint year ‘2020' is positioned vertically between the two upright pieces of the ladder. Below the railing on the left is the mint mark ‘BP.', containing a security element. Visible only when magnified at least 10,000 times, a microlettering, identical to the specific letter in the mint mark, is shown in the mint mark.
The reverse has a large sculpting of János Harsányi’s as the central theme. To the left is the lettering HARSÁNYI, and to the right the wording JÁNOS, both placed in an upper arch-shaped legend, while and the two years 1920 – 2000 indicating the birth and the death of the renowned scientist are shown in the lower legend. Below the portrait, is the sculptor Balázs Pelcz’ master mark.
Both coins have a diameter of 38.61 mm with reeded edges. The silver coin, with a face value of 10,000 forint is struck in .925 fine silver and weighs 31.46 grams. The non-ferrous metal 2,000 forint is produced from an alloy of copper (75%) and nickel (25%) and weighs 30.8 grams. The mintage limit of both the silver collector coin in proof finish and that of the non-ferrous version in BU finish is 5,000 pieces of each.