Well here’s the third episode of our 10-part look back at the 2014 releases of the mints of Eastern Europe and it’s been quite a bit of work. It’s our intention to cover 2015 releases from these mints on a more regular basis moving forward, but we felt we’d missed some really superb issues through last year, and while we’ve covered some, there are huge gaps that we’re going to fill.

This time we’re doing a retrospective of the issues of Polands national bank, Narodowy Bank Polski (NBP). Not to be confused with the Mint of Poland (Mennica Polska), the bank commissions coins but does not strike them. Ironically enough, the Mint of Poland handles that.

The Polish people seem to be very avid coin collectors and many of what might seem quite niche and estoric coins have quite healthy mintages. They’re lucky that the output of the NBP, like that of Lithuania and Latvia, is of such a high standard and deserves a closer look. With high quality ongoing series like the ‘Treasures of King Stanislaw August’ and ‘Polish Coin History’ there’s a lot here to interest collectors around the world.

We’ve used the banks own descriptions as they’re first-class, and clearly better than could be produced by a clod like me stumbling around Wikipedia trying to learn about Queen Jadwiga. To keep the article more compact we’ve tucked the bulk of each description into a toggle, so just click the cross in the blue square to expand it out and again to reshrink it. The information is often fascinating and well worth a perusal. Please let us know what you think as it’ll help us shape our aricles moving forward.


Jan Kozielewski went down in history under the alias of Jan Karski. He was a talented son of a craftsman from Łódź, member of the Sodality of Our Lady. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and Diplomacy at the Jan Kazimierz University in Lvov. After the outbreak of World War II he was first in Soviet and later in German captivity. He managed to escape from both and at the end of 1939 he went underground. Due to his knowledge of foreign languages, physical fitness and qualifications he was entrusted with the role of emissary of the Polish Underground State.

During one of the missions, Karski was captured by the Gestapo in Slovakia but was rescued by members of the underground when staying in hospital in Nowy Sącz. In autumn 1942, Karski entered the Warsaw Ghetto and the interim camp of Izbica illegally. He carried microfilms with reports on the situation of Jews in a hollowed-out key (he kept a replica of the key in his archive donated to the Hoover Institution in Stanford, USA). When he managed to get through to England after more than two months, he gave his shocking account documenting the systematically planned extermination of the Jewish nation to his superiors and to American and British elites. He also met with the US President. However, it was to no avail.

After World War II, Jan Karski lived in exile in the United States and withdrew from political life. He studied political science and received a Ph.D. at Georgetown University in Washington, where he became a lecturer. In 1985 he published The Great Powers and Poland, 1919–1945: From Versailles to Yalta.

When his unusual history was recalled in the hours-long film Shoah, Karski resumed the subject of the Holocaust and recounted his war mission at the lectures. Being a man of deep religious faith, he was always looking for the sense of history, of which he was a part.

Jan Karski lived to see his recognition – he was bestowed, among others, with the Righteous Among the Nations title, conferred the Order of the White Eagle, and, posthumously – the highest civilian award of the United States. This is what Zbigniew Brzeziński said of Karski: … his place is on the first pages of Poland’s contemporary history. He represents all that is the most beautiful, and the most admirable in the history of World War II.

Ewa Wierzyńska Museum of Polish History and Jan Karski Educational Foundation

GOLD OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – an image of the white eagle from the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. On both sides of the eagle – the year of issue: 2014. Along the rim – inscriptions: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (Republic of Poland), 2 zł (the face value).

GOLD REVERSE: The reverse shows an image of Jan Karski. On the right side of the coin – the dates of birth and death of the activist:  1914-2000. At the bottom – a signature of Karski.

SILVER OBVERSE: An image of the white eagle from the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. Above – the year of issue: 2014. Below – the name of the issuing country: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (Republic of Poland) and the face value: 10 zł.

SILVER REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – an image of a key referring to a hollow key in which Jan Karski smuggled micro movies with reports on Jews’ situation in Poland. On a mirror-like surface of the key – an inscription made in micro printing. Below – a signature of Jan Karski.

RELEASE:  24 APRIL  (2799.00 zt in gold, 115.00 zt in silver)

DESIGNER: Sebastian Mikolajczak

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: The silver coin shines brightest for us, with the microprinted key design being a nice touch. The gold has a latent (lenticular-like) image in it that’s also quite clever, although the design is more traditional in other regards. I must confess to an ignorance of Jan Karski’s exploits, but after reading about the guy he’s clearly deserving of tremendous respect. If you’ve read the mints description above, the choice of the key design becomes eminently understandable.

10 ZLOTY 0.925 SILVER 14.14 g 32.00 mm PROOF 30,000
200 ZLOTY 0.900 GOLD 15.50 g 27.00 mm PROOF 2,500


The 600th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Turkey in 2014 is an opportunity to celebrate this event and recall the centuries-long mutual contacts between the two countries.

In 1414 King Ladislas Jagiello sent two envoys to Sultan Mehmed Çelebi – Skarbek from Góra and Gregory the Armenian – on a mission to mediate between Hungary and Turkey. The mission was successful. This historical date is worth highlighting since Poland was the first European country to establish permanent diplomatic relations with the then Ottoman Empire.

For nearly 300 years – from the rule of Ladislas Jagiello to the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 – Polish–Turkish relations alternated between periods of war and peace. However, throughout the whole history of mutual relations, the periods of peace were significantly longer than the periods of war. Poles will always remain deeply grateful to Turkey for not recognising the partitions of Poland. What is widely known from those times is the ceremonial welcome of foreign envoys at the court of the Sultan – the chamberlain, who was to announce the arrival of the envoy of Poland, after a long time of waiting would declare: “The envoy of Poland has not arrived, he got stuck on the road”.

The 19th century began a new chapter in friendly relations between Poles and Turks. It was then that Turkey provided asylum for droves of political exiles and refugees seeking to escape the draft to the Russian army. The largest wave of emigration to Turkey coincides with the defeat of the January and November uprisings as well as the end of the Hungarian
revolution of 1848-49. Thanks to their knowledge, military training and technical education, Poles became engaged in the modernisation of various spheres of Turkish life (one should mention here Józef Bem, Marian Langiewicz, Władysław Kościelski, Władysław Zamoyski and Michał Czaykowski).

This period of friendly Polish-Turkish relations that lasts to today has left a much stronger stamp in the social consciousness of Turks than the earlier period of conflict and wars.

Tadeusz Majda

RELEASE:  26 JUNE  (649.00 zt for the two-coin boxed set)

DESIGNER: Urszula Walerzak (Poland), Özgür Soyyilmaz and Furkan Payas (Turkey)

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland), Turkish State Mint

COMMENT: A nice pair of coins that despite coming from two different sources and three different artists, actually complement each other very well indeed. Well packaged, the only thing holding it back is the very niche nature of the subject matter. The Polish artist, Urszula Walerzak, is responsible for the Fortuna Redux, John Paul II cuboid, and Pyramid coins from the Mint of Poland, three quite special releases.

20 ZLOTY 0.925 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm PROOF 10,000
50 TRY 0.925 SILVER 31.1 g 38.61 mm PROOF 10,000


In 2014, we shall celebrate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising, an event holding a particular place in our history and memory. The heroism of those who stood up to fight for free and independent Poland on 1 August 1944 is an example of the highest test of patriotism. The attitude of the insurgents was unique – guided by solidarity, loyalty, and responsibility for the homeland, city, home, for others and for themselves.

Today, after 70 years, we demonstrate our patriotism in a different way – in our daily civic attitude, by participating in social and political life, by working pro Res Publica. However, patriotism is still expressed by the same words, as relevant today as ever: responsibility, solidarity, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, care, cooperation, integrity. Its essence is the care for the common good. If we are able to cultivate and develop this attitude, then those who were apparently defeated have actually won.

The Patriots of 1944 were fighting for freedom with weapons in their hands. However, the Warsaw Uprising was not only a battle for each street and each house; it was also 63 days of free Poland. For two months, legal civilian and military authorities operated in Warsaw, as well as the legal judiciary, public order protection services and the fire department. The press of all political orientations was printed, the radio and the field post operated, and own postal stamps were issued (!).

Hospitals, field canteens and soldier inns functioned. The Insurgent Republic had its own journalists, operators documenting the Uprising and its own film chronicle. “This state emerging from the underground in Warsaw is only four days old” – reported “Biuletyn Informacyjny” (Information Bulletin), the major daily of the Insurgent Warsaw on the fifth day of the Uprising – “… it is here, without waiting for an end to the fighting, in the fire of battles, directly on the front line – that the state and Polish social life is rapidly appearing from the underground”. And the “Rzeczpospolita Polska” (Republic of Poland), in its issue of 6 August 1944 wrote: “The population of Warsaw passes its exam with an excellent result, as usual … There is nobody who would avoid their civic obligations at such a historic moment for us as this”.

This is how, under extreme conditions, the real civic society was born, able to organise itself, imbued with responsibility and care for the Republic (a unique example of this attitude are the two Dzienniki Ustaw RP (Journals of Laws of the Republic of Poland) issued during the Uprising, laying the systemic foundations for the future Poland. The Patriots of 1944 became the citizens of 1944. The example of the Warsaw Uprising proves how strongly these two notions – patriot and citizen – are correlated.

This correlation is reflected by the words placed on the coin reverse: „PATRIOCI OBYWATELE”(Patriots Citizens) and „OBYWATELE PATRIOCI” (Citizens Patriots). This inscription was made by using letters in the style of the font from the “Information Bulletin”. The reference to the Warsaw Uprising is also visible in symbolic form – on the reverse the coin designer has placed the outline of the emblem derived from the famous poster “Long live the government of the Republic. Honour to the courageous Home Army”, dated 1 August 1944.

Piotr C. Śliwowski

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – an image of the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. On both sides of the coat of arms – the year of issue 2014 and the face value of the coin – 20 zlotys. In the upper and lower part of the coin, along the rim – RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (the Republic of Poland).

REVERSE: In the foreground –  an outline of  the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. On both sides of the coat of arms – dates: 1944 and 2014. Above – an insctipion: PATRIOCI OBYWATELE (Patriots Citizens). In the lower part of the coin – an inscription: OBYWATELE PATRIOCI (Citizens Patriots).

RELEASE:  28 JULY  (170.00 zt )

DESIGNER: Sebastian Mikolajczak

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: One of those designs that the East European mints do so well, the strongly symbolic artwork looks superb and there’s clearly been a lot of thought put into the details. A fitting tribute.

20 ZLOTY 0.925 Ag 28.28 g 38.61 mm PROOF 35,000


The fifth coin of the series commemorates Louis I from the French Angevin dynasty (d’Anjou), son of Charles Robert and Elizabeth of Poland. Louis was King of Hungary from 1342, and in 1370 – under previously made arrangements regarding the succession of the Angevins to the Polish throne in the event there were no male descendants of Casimir the Great – he became King of Poland.

The medallic image of Louis, bearing resemblance to the portrait by Marcello Bacciarelli, shows the right profile of the king, with a beard, wearing a robe with rosettes and a buckled coat. He has an ornamental crown on his head, different than the one in the portrait.

The medal’s reverse reads in translation (on the coin’s obverse in an abbreviated version):

From a French house, son of Charles of Anjou, King of Hungary, and King of Hungary himself nephew of Casimir the Great from his sister Elizabeth’s side, he gave many privileges to the nobility. He died in Trnava A.D. 1382, aged 56, having reigned Poland for 12 years, on 12 September.

Louis, born in 1326 in Visegrád, became King of Poland after 28 years of successful reign in Hungary (where he was nicknamed the Great). In Poland, after his coronation in Cracow on 17 November 1370, it was his mother, Elizabeth of Poland, and later bishop Zawisza Kurozwęcki, who reigned in his stead during Louis’ frequent absences; a prominent role was also played by Duke Vladislaus II of Opole.

In order to obtain permission for his daughters to succeed to the throne, Louis granted the Polish szlachta (gentry) the Privilege of Koszyce in 1374, which included tax exemptions and other liberties. This way he weakened the royal authority but laid a cornerstone for the later nobles’ democracy. He waived claims on Silesia in favour of Bohemia and gave Red Ruthenia to the Hungarian crown. He fought victorious battles for Hungary in the Balkans and towards the end of his life conquered Dalmatia and Dubrovnik. He died in Nagyszombat (in Latin Tyrnavia, currently Trnava in Slovakia) in 1382.

Marta Męclewska: Former Curator of the Numismatic Cabinet of the Royal Castle in Warsaw

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – an image of the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. On both sides of the coat of arms – the year of issue 2014 and the face value of the coin – 20 zlotys. In the upper and lower part of the coin, along the rim – RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (the Republic of Poland).

REVERSE:  In the central part of the coin – a replica of the medal obverse with a short biography of King Casimir the Great in Latin. Along the rim – inscriptions: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (Republic of Poland), 50 ZŁ (the face value). At the bottom – the year of issue (2014) and a miniature emblem of the Republic of Poland (white eagle wearing a crown).

RELEASE:  10 SEPTEMBER  (12,499.00 zt in gold, 839.00 zt in silver, incl box)

DESIGNER: Anna Wątróbska-Wdowiarska (rev), Urszula Walerzak (obv)

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: This series reminds me of the superlative ‘From Clovis to Republic’ coins issued by the Monnaie de Paris. Our Coin Series Profile on those was very popular and, judging from the response, brought in quite a few new buyers who were previously unaware of it. This ‘Treasures of King Stanislaw August’ series, while not reaching quite the same level of excellence, is a beautiful set and worthy of similar attention by the history fan. With this being just the 5th of 24 releases (3 per year), there’s still plenty of time to get onboard.

50 ZLOTY 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 45.00 mm STANDARD 5,000
500 ZLOTY 0.9999 GOLD 62.2 g 45.00 mm STANDARD 750


Coin minting under the rule of Mieszko III the Elder (1173–1177 and 1181–1202) opens a new period in the history of Polish coinage – the period of bracteates or thin coins struck on one side only. They replaced the heavier, double-sided silver coins which had been in circulation until then.

At the same time, the number of coin types significantly increased. More than 50 types are attributed to Mieszko III. Different presentations of the Prince, St. Adalbert and brutes, real and fantastic, appear on those coins. Also coins with no
images at all, with inscriptions only, are known. It is also surprising that the inscriptions on the coins attributed to Mieszko III are not only in Latin but also in Hebrew. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that mints employed Jews, who also rented mint income. The income was generated during the exchange of coins carried out periodically. Such a “ renovation of the coin”, which took place even three times a year, explains the abundance of coin types.

A bracteate with the image of a lion looking to the left, but with its head facing backwards, has been chosen for the series illustrating the history of Polish coins. It is accompanied by a circumscription along the rim, which due to its form and content is totally unique. A sentence in Polish, meaning “Polish King Mieszko”, was written in Hebrew letters. However, since Mieszko, as it is known, was not a crowned head, naming him king means that in the eyes of the Jewish minters he
was a powerful ruler, outdoing minor local princes in importance. In this context, we can guess that the lion – the king of animals – impersonated Mieszko III.

On our new coin, the image of the lion from the frame of the Gniezno Doors refers to the lion from the bracteate of Mieszko III, while on the reverse, we see a scene modelled on the paten which Mieszko III donated to the Cistercian abbey in Ląd. The images depict the donor Prince (on the left), St. Nicholas – the patron saint of the monastery (in the centre) and Abbot Simon (on the right).

Stanisław Suchodolski

OBVERSE: features an image of Mieszko III the Old  taken from the drawing depicted on a paten (app. 1180) given by the King to the Cistercian monastery in Ląd, and an obverse of a contemporary 10 zloty coin.

REVERSE: depicts an image of a denarius of Mieszko III the Old with an inscription written in Hebrew alphabet.  On the right, along the rim – an inscription: BRAKTEAT MIESZKA III STAREGO (the name of the coin in Polish).

RELEASE:  10 SEPTEMBER  (169.00 zt)

DESIGNER: Dominika Karpińska-Kopiec

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: Another regular series from the Polish national bank, these are yet another beautiful set of designs with some attractive medieval artwork on both sides. Great for the numismatic afficionado although a proper box instead of a card would make us happier.

10 ZLOTY 0.925 Ag 14.14 g 32.00 mm PROOF 20,000


Stefan Żeromski was born on 14 October 1864 in Strawczyn (currently the province of Świętokrzyskie), died on 20 November 1925 in Warsaw. Buried at the Evangelical Reformed Cemetery in Warsaw. He was one of Poland’s most eminent prose writers and playwrights; a writer convinced of a special mission of the man of letters, his responsibility for shaping the nation’s and fatherland’s fate. He was writing under various pen names, e.g. Maurycy Zych, Józef Katerla.

Żeromski was born to a family of impoverished gentry. He spent his childhood and early youth in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains. In 1874-1886 he attended the State Gymnasium for Boys in Kielce; at present the building seats the Museum of Stefan Żeromski’s School Years, a branch of the National Museum in Kielce. Subsequently, he went to Warsaw, where he started studies at the Veterinary School. However, difficult material conditions forced him to give up studies and take up the work of a private tutor.

The first works by Żeromski put to print were written at the time of his studies – these were poems. In 1895 two collections of prose were published: Stories and Ravens and Crows will Peck us to Pieces
His best known pieces include The Labours of Sisyphus, Homeless People, Ashes, The Wages of Sin and The Faithful River. In his final years he wrote Snoberry and Progress, a collection of stories Mistakes, a novel Seedtime and a poem in prose The Fir Forest.

“The last eulogist of Poland’s history”, as Żeromski was called by Józef Ujejski, the outstanding historian of Polish Romanticism, apart from literary work devoted his time to social work. He was founding schools, universities and libraries. He actively contributed to the organization of cultural and literary events. The laureate of numerous prizes, he
was also shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in literature.

His works have been translated into a number of languages, as well as adapted for the stage and the screen. After Żeromski’s death, the most outstanding Polish writers – J. Lechoń, A. Słonimski, J. Tuwim, L. Staff – paid him a tribute in their works.

Sylwia Zacharz
Director of the Museum of Stefan Żeromski’s School Years, Branch of the National Museum in Kielce

GOLD OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin: image of the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. Along the rim – face value: 200 zloty, issuing country: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA, year of issue: 2014. Around the image of the coat of arms – titles of the novels by S. Żeromski: SYZYFOWE PRACE, POPIOŁY, LUDZIE BEZDOMNI, PRZEDWIOŚNIE, WIERNA RZEKA, DOKTOR PIOTR, WIATR OD MORZA, PUSZCZA JODŁOWA.

GOLD REVERSE: In the central part of the coin: portrait of Stefan Żeromski in a square frame. In the bottom part of the coin – inscription: STEFAN ŻEROMSKI, years of birth and death of the novelist: 1864–1925.

SILVER OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – image of a feather. Below, left-hand: image of the coat of arms of the Republic of Poland. Left-hand, along the rim – issuing country:  RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA, year of issue: 2014. In the upper part of the coin, left-hand – face value: 10 zloty.

SILVER REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – portrait of Stefan Żeromski. Right-hand – stylized inscription: S. Żeromski. Below: years of birth and death of the novelist: 1864–1925

RELEASE: 02 OCTOBER  (2799.00 zt in gold, 110.00 zt in silver)

DESIGNER: Robert Kotowicz (silver), Dominika Karpińska-Kopiec (gold).

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: Again it’s the silver coin that stands out for us with some slightly more adventurous design. Both have quite traditional reverse side artwork, and both have very nice obverse sides. The gold has a decent box but the silver is carded, something we’re not keen on for precious metal coins here.

10 ZLOTY 0.925 SILVER 14.14 g 32.00 mm PROOF 30,000
200 ZLOTY 0.900 GOLD 15.50 g 27.00 mm PROOF 2,500


Józef Chełmoński’s oeuvre captures the quintessence of the Polish countryside, the realm of its inhabitants, nature and landscape. The artist remained faithful to those themes throughout his lifetime. He grew up in a family estate near Łowicz, and spent the last 25 years of his life in a rural manor house of Kuklówka near Grodzisk Mazowiecki.

He studied in Warsaw and Munich, and for a long time he lived in Paris, where he gained both artistic and financial success. While staying in urban parks, he was longing for nature and peasant cottages. He pursued his artistic leitmotifs – farmyards, dashing horse teams, the scenes in front of an inn and in the field, all of this set against the background of the memoryevoked landscapes which he remembered from wandering around Mazovia and trips to Ukraine, Podolia, Lithuania and Polesie.

The works by Chełmoński, known as realistic genre in the Polish painting, go beyond the scope of this categorization. One of his early paintings, Cranes, depicting a crippled bird abandoned by its flock in the foreground, was by 10-20 years ahead of ideas promoted by the symbolists, also because of its colours and original composition. Indian summer- known to all, which triggered the indignation of contemporary critics over the improper topic, was the first depiction of a female peasant not at work, but lying dreamily on the meadow. The girl was a part of nature, as simple as the nature itself, but at the same time full of poetry.

Such a vision of the world revealed itself most fully in later work by Chełmoński in which glimpses of the steppe, swampy meadows and forest roads which came from his brush became a vision of spirituality which permeates nature. Individualism of Chełmoński’s artistic attitude reflected his dislike of the existing stereotypes in imaging, which he rejected, while relying on his own intuition and instincts of a painter.

As a human he rebelled against social conventions and artificiality of the salon’s life. He demonstrated his attitude also in his attire – not overly careful, composed of the elements of urban and peasant costumes. Both in art and in life he valued authenticity most of all. The obverse of the coins is a transposition of the left side of the oil painting by Józef Chełmoński Night in Ukraine in winterfrom 1877. The reverse bears the portrait of Józef Chełmoński, modelled on the image drawn by Leon Wyczółkowski in 1900; the motifs from a painting  Cranesby Chełmoński from 1870 in the background.

Urszula Makowska: Ph.D.Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences

OBVERSE: Fragment of Józef Chełmoński’s painting Night in the Ukraine, 1877. On the upper right side– image of an eagle established as the national emblem of the Republic of Poland. Below – m/w (mint mark). Surrounding the eagle – inscription: 20 ZŁ (20 zloty), a separating dot and inscription: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (the Republic of Poland), year of issue: 2014.

REVERSE: Background: fragment of painting Departing cranes, 1870. In the foreground – image of Józef Chełmoński (from the portrait created by Leon Wyczółkowski). Below – inscription: JÓZEF CHEŁMOŃSKI, years of birth and death of the painter: 1849–1914.

RELEASE:  07 NOVEMBER  (199.00 zt)

DESIGNER: Ewa Olszewska-Borys

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: It isn’t often that the Polish bank incorporates colour into it’s designs, but it’s been used subtley and inventively here, and to no detriment to the integrity of the overall look. It’s getting a little repetitive saying it, but this is another attractive design that we’re sure will appeal to art fans.

20 ZLOTY 0.925 Ag 28.28 g 40.00 x 28.00 mm PROOF 30,000


The sixth coin of the series commemorates Jadwiga of Anjou, daughter of Louis I of Hungary, who was crowned Queen of Poland in 1384. In 1386, Jadwiga was married to Ladislas Jagiello, Grand Duke of Lithuania. Despite her young age, thanks to her strong international position and wise politics, she gained prestige and respect. Known also for her piety and charity, publicly venerated, Jadwiga was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1997.

The medallic image of Jadwiga, referring to her portrait by Marcello Bacciarelli, shows her left profile, with a veil and an ornamental crown on her head, a folded dress and a double strand pearl necklace.

The medal’s reverse reads in translation (on the coin’s obverse in an abbraviated version):

The third daughter of Louis, crowned Queen of Poland A.D. 1384, on 15 October. Married to Ladislas Jagiello on 17 February A.D. 1386. She restored to Poland Red Ruthenia from Hungary’s occupation. Died A.D. 1399, aged 28, on 17 July.

Born in 1373 or 1374, Jadwiga succeeded to the throne of Poland at the age of ten; she ruled on her own for two years, then thirteen years together with Ladislas Jagiello. Well educated, she actively participated in politics and diplomatic mediations with Dukes of Lithuania Vytautas and Skirgaila as well as with the Teutonic Order. In 1387 she recovered to Poland Red Ruthenia, which had been incorporated into Hungary by Louis I of Hungary after the death of Casimir the Great. She contributed to the restoration of the Cracow Academy – she left her dresses and jewels to the Academy in her last will. She performed a wide variety of funding and charitable activities, she encouraged translations of Latin sacral texts into Polish. She died after giving birth to her daughter Elizabeth Bonifacia, who also died in 1399.

Marta Męclewska: Former Curator of the Numismatic Cabinet of the Royal Castle in Warsaw

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin –  inscription: LUDOVICI FILIA/TERTIOGENITA/CORONATA IN REGINAM/POLONIAE A.D. 1384. D. 15 OCTOB:/NUPTA ULADISLAO/JAGELLONI/17. FEBRUARI: A.D. 1386./RUSSIAM RUBRAM AB/HUNGARIS OCUPATAM/POLON: RESTITUIT./OBIIT A.D. 1399./AETAT: 28. Below it  – image of the coat of arms eagle established as the national emblem of the Republic of Poland, dividing into two parts the year of issue: 20-14. Along the rim – inscriptions (separated by a decorative dot): RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (the Republic of Poland), 500 ZŁ (face value).

REVERSE:  In the central part of the coin – portrait of Jadwiga of Anjou wearing a crown. Above it – inscription: HEDVIGIS.

RELEASE:  04 DECEMBER  (12,499.00 zt in gold, 839.00 zt in silver, incl box)

DESIGNER: Anna Wątróbska-Wdowiarska (rev), Robert Kotowicz (obv)

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: More of the same that made the Louis the Great coin so appreciated. Great stuff. We’d write a Coin Series Profile on the series but with only 6 of the planned 24 coins actually out, it’s a little premature.

50 ZLOTY 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 45.00 mm STANDARD 5,000
500 ZLOTY 0.9999 GOLD 62.2 g 45.00 mm STANDARD 750


The end of the 12th century and the whole of 13th century was a period dominated by bracteates, i.e. thin, one-sided coins. At the same time, it was the darkest period in the history of the Polish minting, coinciding with the fragmentation of Poland.

It was the time of simultaneous rule over the Polish territory by many princes, each of them minting their own coins. Most of these coins have no inscriptions at all, which makes identification of the issuers extremely difficult. Some aid in this area has been provided by the large coin hoard recently discovered in Cracow, which had been hidden in the first half of the 13th century. From this find comes the bractreate depicting a winged dragon. The coin was most likely struck under the rule of Prince Leszek the White (1206-1227).

The image of a specimen of this very bracteate was placed on the reverse of the new coin, the fifth in our series. The dragon is turned to the left, with its head turned backwards, wings spread out wide and the tail curled under its body. This monster either symbolises the Prince’s power or, perhaps, it was meant to ward off any evil spirits which might threaten the monarch. The outline of the façade of the Late Romanesque Cistercian church in Sulejów was used as the background.

Our coin’s obverse also features two groups of elements. On the one hand, the coin particulars including the State emblem and name, face value and the year of issue. On the other hand, the Prince’s seal depicting the Prince standing in full armour with a spear and a pennant in one hand and a shield in the other. The legend contains data missing from the bracteate: +SIGIL[LVM] LESTCONIS D-VCIS POLONI-E (the seal of Leszek, Prince of Poland).

Stanisław Suchodolski

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – image of a10-zloty coin, stylized for contemporary Polish circulation coins. To the right – image of  a seal attributed to Leszek I the White.

REVERSE: depicts a bracteate of Leszek I the White against the Romanesque church of Saint Thomas Becket of Canterbury in Sulejów. Left-side, along the rim – inscription (name of the coin): BRAKTEAT LESZKA BIAŁEGO (bracteate of Leszek I the White).

RELEASE:  04 DECEMBER  (159.00 zt)

DESIGNER: Dominika Karpińska-Kopiec

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: As a history nut, I’m a big fan of this series, and collectors of medieval coins will likely also want to check these out. Very reasonably priced as well, although kill the card please, and how about a box to collect the set in?

10 ZLOTY 0.925 Ag 14.14 g 32.00 mm PROOF 20,000


Grzegorz Ciechowski (29 August 1957–22 December 2001) – the most outstanding poet of the Polish rock music, composer, music producer, musician, leader and frontman of Republikarock band. He performed solo as Obywatel G.C. and Grzegorz z Ciechowa. He started as a poet, but turned to music in search for a stronger form of communication for his literary work.

In 1980, he debuted with his first volume of poems, however, it was the first concerts with Republika, played around that time, that set the path of Ciechowski’s further development as an artist. The artistic work of Grzegorz Ciechowski continued since then – only for 21 years – yielded a number best-selling albums. A true visionary, he proved consistently successful, whatever artistic impersonation he assumed.

Founded by Ciechowski, Republika was the precursor of the so-called new wave on the Polish musical stage. Such musical pieces as “Biała flaga” (White flag) or “Kombinat” (Industrial Plant), despite the passage of time, continue to carry a valid and current message. Thanks to remarkable music and the lyrics telling the story of oppression and lack of freedom in the reality of a totalitarian state, Republika gained legions of fans in 1980s. In the period when he performed solo – under the artistic name of Obywatel G.C.- he wrote next musical pieces of key importance for the Polish musical stage, and brought to it new artistic quality.

His second solo album “Tak!Tak!” (Yes!Yes!), the first ever album released in Poland on a CD, besides the title song, brought a very special song entitled “Nie pytaj o Polskę” (Don’t ask about Poland). Ciechowski soon started to work on film music and became a music producer for other artists. At that time, he cooperated with Mona Mur and Dieter Meier, the co-founder of the Swiss band Yello. Later on, Ciechowski produced, among others, the debut albums of Kasia Kowalska, Justyna Steczkowska. He was the precursor of the comeback of folk music; in 1996, using the stage name Grzegorz z Ciechowa, he released the album entitled “OjDADAna”, infused with the sounds of Polish folk music.

Grzegorz Ciechowski died suddenly on 22 December 2001 after a long and complicated heart surgery.

Przemysław Wałczuk

OBVERSE: The main graphic motif of the obvers are black and white transversal stripes – the hallmark of the band Republika. On the middle stripe – inscription: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA. Above it – image of an eagle established as the national emblem of the Republic of Poland. Left-side – decorative elements: piano keys. In the bottom – face value: 10 ZŁ.

REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – image of Grzegorz Ciechowski against black and white transversal stripes. Along the rim – inscriptions: HISTORIA POLSKIEJ MUZYKI ROZRYWKOWEJ/ GRZEGORZ CIECHOWSKI.

SQUARE OBVERSE: Left side of the coin depicts an image of a vinyl record. In the top right-hand corner – image of an eagle established as the national emblem of the Republic of Poland. Below – year of issue: 2014. In the bottom left-hand corner – face value: 10 ZŁ. In the middle, vertically – inscription: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (the Republic of Poland).

SQUARE REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – image of an album cover of the record “Obywatel Świata” [Citizen of the World]. Along the rim – inscriptions: GRZEGORZ CIECHOWSKI/HISTORIA POLSKIEJ MUZYKI ROZRYWKOWEJ.

RELEASE: 11 DECEMBER  (120.00 zt square, 110.00 zt round)

DESIGNER: Grzegorz Pfeifer

MINT:  Mennica Polska (Mint of Poland)

COMMENT: While the subject matter isn’t really my thing, I’ve got to say the reverse side of the square coin and the obverse side of the round one are excellent. The square coin portrait is particularly impressive, showing strong detail and a good use of the space. Either are infinitely better than the garish, coloured coin you’d normally expect from coins of this genre, and they’ve treated this pop music star in the mature way that a classical composer would be commemorated. Well done.

10 ZLOTY 0.925 SILVER 14.4 g 28.2 x 28.2 mm PROOF 30,000
10 ZLOTY 0.925 SILVER 14.4 g 32.00 mm PROOF 30,000