Baba Yaga, the nickname of John Wick, is also the inspiration for the first of the Lithuanian Mint’s Cryptid series

For centuries, the weird and mysterious has often been attributed to unexplainable creatures of the night. Regular coin collectors will know they’ve been a rich source of inspiration for some quite superb issues, in recent years, but most of them have been at the higher end. The Lithuanian Mint is to debut a new 12-coin series, apparently all to be issued through 2023, which will be more affordable.

Called ‘World of Cryptids’, it will feature some of the world’s most iconic and mysterious creatures, and it’s starting off with o legendary one from Easter European mythology, Baba Yaga. The name might be familiar to a lot of people, not from its Slavic origins, but because it was the nickname of the assassin, John Wick, in the movie series of the same name. However, the movies got it wrong, and Baba Yaga isn’t the boogeyman, but actually an unusual supernatural woman.

Dwelling deep in a forest, living in a house on chicken legs (no, I’m not making this up…), she flies around in a mortar, and wields a pestle (I promise, I’m really not…). More so than usual, Baba Yaga has a varied mythology, and we’re not about to try and sort out that mess here. Her depiction, by artist Laimutė Varkalaitė, is extremely stylised and very distinctive. It’s part of a project that the artist put together for the 2021 World Illustration Awards, and there were well over a hundred different depictions of various cryptids. The obverse has a background pattern, but is otherwise just the emblem of the issuing state, Niue.

The coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and what looks to be a simple box. This first coin also comes with a gatefold binder that has spots in it to hold all twelve coins in the series, amidst some neat cartography. The names of the other coins are also written on it, and we see Sasquatch, Wendigo, Curupira, Jinn, Yeti, Dragon, Dwarves, El Coco, Bunyip, Rolling Calf, and Adze. It’s an eclectic selection from across the world, so something for everyone. The Baba Yaga coin will launch on 27th February for €109.00.

COMPOSITION 31.1 g of 0.999 silver
FINISH Antique