A look at some of the widely variable recent releases from collector favourite producer, the Mint of Poland

Time for a quick review of new releases emanating from the popular Mint of Poland. Widely admired for their superb issues through third-parties, like many of the quite superb ancient mythology themed coins, they’ve tended to be less impressive with issues they release directly, of late. There have been exceptions, of course, just this year alone including the superb Ancient Goddesses range, and a gorgeous ‘Seven Gods of Fortune’ coin, but this mix is a bit uneven compared to our last round-up, in our opinion, of course.

The Bee coin is quite exquisite, and one we feel will find fans, and The Wizard is the mint on familiar ground, so those are nice enough. The Vincent van Gogh coin is also familiar in concept, utilising the gilded ‘frame’ design yet again (we’re well into double figures with it), and having a subject done to death in the numismatic world. Something more original, perhaps Japanese art, or Banksy, perhaps, would be more imaginative.

The last two are very different, which this producer is no stranger to. For us, they both struggle in the execution, however. Viking Chess is a splendid idea for a coin series, but the way the mint has realised it, is quite unadventurous. As for Noah’s Ark, it uses that concept first used for a Magellan coin in 2021, which we disliked, and again last year for the Titanic. We’re still not fans…

2023 BEE

Released to celebrate that most industrious of creatures, ‘Bee’ is a striking, vibrant design, packed with gilded highlights, colour, and a piece of polished amber. There are traces of the mechanical in the interpretation, perhaps even steampunk-inspired. The background field pattern is particularly neat, hinting at a flower, suggesting the bee is hard at work.

It may be a trifle gaudy for some, but we think the idea is sound, and it’s all quite elegant. The obverse is dull, however. Packaging looks good, as this is a coin some will certainly want to display, and these frame cases are adept at that task. Considering the high-relief, it’s a good size at 50 mm in diameter. Overall, we think this is a good one.

$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm Antique 500 YES / YES


We’re pleased to see more than just the gods of the ancient world feature on these two-ounce high-relief coins, and there are surprisingly few coins out there of late, at least those with Harry Potter on them, that feature the wizard. The basic coin design is excellent, with the face of the old guy being very noteworthy. It’s the hand that draws the eye, however, with a quite astonishingly good use of perspective in its depiction. Honestly, it’s a small thing, but it adds substantial depth to the scene. Even the background employs some odd perspective to add interest to the whole scene, and little details abound.

The obverse is a little more regimented, but still full of cool details, and we love the issue details on the page of the book of magic. Exceptionally well integrated. The fluorescent 3D inserts will divide opinion, and unusually, they’re present on both faces. Representing a magical force, the inserts themselves work well in the role, but they are quite prominent, and we can see them being divisive. The base coin design is so good, that we can live with them.

$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm Antique 888 YES / YES


Fine art on coins is nothing new, quite the opposite in fact, and nor is it rare, with a plethora of issues over the last decade. One of the most prolific of them has been this mint, with literally dozens of them, and a large number have employed the concept you see here. What the mint has done is reproduce a gilded frame as a border, and just coloured in the space with the artwork.

It’s quite effective, and the coin is certainly on target, but it’s all so crushingly unoriginal, and the choice of Van Gogh, again, is a shame, as it’s been done to death. As we said in our intro, what about some of that stunning Japanese watercolour art, or something from the graffiti world. Who would like to see Banksy’s work in the frame with the shredder, reproduced as a coin? A good coin in most regards.

$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 57.0 x 57.0 mm Proof 700 YES / YES


Discovered on a beach at Uig, on the Isle of Lewis, in 1831, was a horde of late 12th/early 13th century chess pieces, carved from walrus tusk and sperm whale tooth, most likely in Trondheim, Norway. The horde of figures ranged from 60-100 mm in height, and there were 93 of them in total, from at least four chess sets. By any standards, a quite incredible find, and you can see why the mint found it an enticing subject.

This six coin set will feature a different piece on each one, with this debut launch consisting of the King, and the Queen. The Runner, Berserker, Bishop, and Knight, we don’t have images of yet. The pieces are hand-painted 3d inserts, likely from resin, and each one sits on a coin carrying an engraved and laser frosted depiction of a chess board, decorated with iconography of the period.

All six coins will sit on a themed display block. It’s a fine idea, but for a coin collector, not a particularly enticing one. The big issue is that every one of the six coins is identical, with just the figure changing each time. What’s the point? So much more could have been done with the silver coins themselves, but repetition is a lazy way out. If the subject appeals, and we can see no reason why it wouldn’t, you may find enough here to spark interest, but coin collectors will find little here to justify a €500+ expenditure.

500 Francs CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 17.50 g 50.0 mm Proof 500 YES / YES


We were a little hard on the Viking Chess coin set, but it still has some charm, and a fascinating subject. This one mystifies us. Just like the earlier Magellan and Titanic issues, this Noah’s Ark coin is basically comprised of a pair of one-ounce silver coins slotted into each other at ninety degree angles. The four resulting right-angled scenes each depict a part of the famous biblical tale.

Plonked on one segment is a 3D insert in the shape of the ark, complete with a small menagerie on its decks. I’m usually quite restrained in my criticism, as we’re patently aware that tastes vary, but I really hate this concept. The Magellan and Titanic coins didn’t work for me, and even World Coin Appreciation did a pirate themed one, but Noah’s Ark is worse. The various scenes are uninspiring, and the ship is just ridiculous. We’re quite baffled how this idea has spawned a fourth issue, but please, let it be the last…

$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm B/Unc 500 YES / YES