Polish state bank, Narodowy Bank Polski, has inaugurated a new series of proof sterling silver coins celebrating The Great Polish Economists. While on the surface it isn’t a particularly gripping theme, we were pleasantly surprised by the subject of the first coin, the giant of European Renaissance scientific thinking, Nicolaus Copernicus. As with most NBP releases, they provide a superb back story to the coin which we’ve reproduced below, so straight on to the coin.
Cleanly struck in half a standard ounce of sterling 0.925 silver, the coin is free of any modifications like colouring or gilding. The reverse face depicts a portrait of Copernicus holding a coin, against a background that reproduces a fragment of the manuscript, “Treatise On the Minting of Coin”. Inscribed are his name and the dates of his life, and the text ‘ROZPRAWA O BICIU MONETY’ (Treatise On the Minting of Coin). A small SM mintmark denotes it as the work of designer Sebastien Mikolajczak.
The obverse carries the cool looking Eagle state emblem of Poland along with the usual ‘Rzeczpospolita Polska’ (Republic of Poland) inscription, and the denomination (10 zl). Another fragment of the treatise, currently housed in the collection of the national Museum in Krakow – The Czartoryski Museum, is reproduced as a background to the state emblem.
The coin comes in a standard small grey box along with a certificate of authenticity and will ship from the 24th April. We’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the NBP’s output and this is no exception. The last of their coins we obtained was the beautiful paratrooper coin from last year and they’re very well struck by the Mennica Polska, better known to collectors as the Mint of Poland.