South Korea unveils 2002 World Cup collector coins

SEOUL, Reuters

Gold and silver coins commemorating soccer’s 2002 World Cup finals have been minted in South Korea, which is gearing up with Japan to co-host the biggest event in world football.

Most of the coins feature a footballer in action against a background of Korea’s World Cup stadiums.

Half will be offered through a draw on April 15 and, if demand tops the limited supply, the second half will be sold next year.

Fans outside Korea can purchase them through select coin shops.

Prices for coins range from 15,000 won (US$12) to 1.3 million won (US$1,021) for a set. Denominations are 1,000, 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 won.

They are sure to become instant collector items as only 63,008 gold coins will be produced compared to 175,000 gold coins made for the 1998 finals held in France.

There will be fewer than 300,000 silver coins minted, versus 740,000 in France and a whopping five million at the 1994 finals in the United States.

The 2002 finals mark the event’s debut in Asia and the first time two countries will co-host the event.

Japan has not yet announced its plans for commemorative coins.

The finals kick off on May 31, 2002.