A round-up of new releases at the Mint of Poland – from ancient history to modern love

One of the most innovative and prolific mints out there, we’ve long admired the Mint of Poland for its great design and fine strikes. A huge player in the ultra-popular ancient world genre of coins, they actually cover a very wide range of subjects, including nature (although less so of late), and particularly the gift market. As part of our attempt to get up to date on our coverage, we’ve rounded up most of the latest issues that the mint issues directly.

It’s an eclectic mix, but we have to say the Hussar and Guan Yu Small coins are especially fine designs, and can stand alongside the best of the competition. Every release here is boxed with a certificate of Authenticity, and all are available to order right now. You should find something here you like!

2021 WAR ELEPHANT

The tank of the ancient battlefield, war elephants were not exactly practical, or that impactful, with a reputation far larger than the reality would suggest. The coin has a spec that it’s fair to consider a Mint of Poland classic, rimless, 2oz of silver, high-relief, and with some gilding. There’s a lot to like here, although not without some small problems, in our view. The building interior setting is hardly realistic. In the same way a modern Main Battle Tank is at its most vulnerable in an urban environment, a war elephant wouldn’t be deployed in this scenario either. Ironically, the frame insert card has a far more apt scene of their deployment than the coin.

Also, the hard surface the elephant is standing on precludes a natural-looking interaction between the two, so the elephant appears to be a little detached from the background, allowing no sense of the weight of the animal to be depicted. In general, however, there’s a lot to like in the detail, with the soldier in the foreground nicely done with fine perspective. Sadly, the same dull obverse is used again. We do wish the mint would glam them up, like it does with its collaborative efforts. The Mint of Gdansk’s recent Genghis Khan coin is a perfect example.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm ANTIQUE 500 YES / YES

2021 GUAN YU

Now, this is another one we really like. A smaller version of the earlier two-ounce issue, we think it’s superior in just about every way. The reduction in diameter from 45 mm to 41 mm belies the drop in weight from 62.2 to just 16.7 grams, and the unbound edge looks terrific in comparison. The cropped image of Guan Yu is still 90%+ complete, and the coral jasper insert is still present, so nothing has been lost in the transition.

Best of all, that dull effigy obverse has gone, to be replaced with a superb archer on horseback, done in an Asian art style, and pointing at a sun formed from that coral jasper showing through. There’s just no comparison, this is far nicer. You can put it down to the change from Niue to Cameroon as the issuing nature, we guess, but we don’t see why it would’ve been a problem for Niue. Gorgeous. Well done.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
500 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 16.7 g 41.0 mm ANTIQUE 999 YES / YES

2021 THE GRIFFIN

A subject that is no stranger to coins, from mythological depictions like that of the Czech Mint, to heraldic interpretation, like the Royal Mint’s ‘Queen’s Beasts’, the griffin also happens to be one of the most glorious mythical beasts. The depiction here is quite superb, with an anatomically believable look and a perfect piece of posing.

Whether the colour in the background is overpowering or not, is a matter of personal opinion, but there’s certainly no complaints from us on the way the main subject is done. A proof finish this time, and that boring obverse returns, but overall, a nice release.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 32.9 g 41.0 mm PROOF 600 YES / YES

2021 MAGELLAN

We first saw this a little while ago and instantly disliked it. This interlocking coins style has never found favour here, but we’ve warmed to this one a little as we’ve taken a closer look. A legend like Magellan has a lot of history to cover, and the coin’s multiple surfaces allow much more to make the cut, from maps of his famous voyages, to maritime scenes, through to the man himself.

There’s colour, gilding, and a crystal insert all scattered around, but the obvious focal point is the ship. The mint describes it as a ‘precise 3d insert’ but it’s more of a ‘chibi’-like look than a realistic one. There are a lot of neat little touches on this one, but it hasn’t changed our view that this style of coin leans a little too hard into gimmick territory. Certainly one of the best examples of the style we’ve seen if it is your thing, and the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage is a great choice of subject.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 50.0 mm PROOF 333 YES / YES

2021 FORTUNE TAROT

Touted as a Black Proof finish, something the Mint of Poland rarely does, this is the another coin they’ve released looking at Tarot. Unfortunately, the New Zealand Mint has also been issuing Tarot coins, and in our opinion, with more success. The whole nonsensical Tarot thing is a hard sell for me anyway, but if it’s your thing, you may like it.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1’000 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 28.28 g 40.0 X 28.0 mm BLACK PROOF 700 YES / YES

2021 FABERGÉ: PELICAN EGG

We’ve always been surprised just how popular Fabergé Egg coins have been over the last few years, with the Mint of Poland and CIT seemingly having a lot of success with them. It’s a valid artistic form, of course, and the original items are certainly impressive, if rather gaudy items. It’s the Pelican Egg this time, from 1898, and given by Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, Maria Feodorovna.

Rose-gold plated, with colour and an inset crystal, it does go somewhat down the gaudy route itself, but at least the obverse has some neat design elements on it, despite being a Niue issue. Even the box is less than subtle, but we suspect that Fabergé fans wouldn’t have it any other way!

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 56.56 g 41.6 x 55.6 mm PROOF 999 YES / YES

2021 HUG ME DOLPHINS

Despite ostensibly being a coin, Hug Me Dolphins is aimed more at the wearable market, and we can imagine it having fairly wide appeal for the genre. It’s light enough at 8.8 grams not to be burdensome to wear, and we can imagine the surfer crowd will find it especially appealing.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
500 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 8.80 g 27.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES

2021 TREE OF HAPPINESS

Shades of Klimt with this Feng-Shui inspired Tree of Happiness coin, it’s an unusual piece, but not something we particularly like. It’s a brash-looking coin with no real focus to the design. We’re sure some will like its extravagance, but it’s too over the top for me.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
500 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 17.50 g 50.0 mm PROOF 555 YES / YES

2022 WEDDING COIN

The Mint of Poland has released lots of coins over many themes utilising this style, mainly for the gift market, and this is no exception. However, we have seen a video of this coin produced by the mint, and it’s quite a bit more muted and ‘flatter’ looking than the renders here indicate. I have to admit to having little time for the genre overall (a wedding ring to me is like a crucifix to a vampire…), but if it is your thing, you know if you like it or not, personal as they are.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
500 CFA (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 17.50 g 38.61 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES
MINT OF POLAND