Exclusive first look at Freydif Eiriksdottir, a superb silver coin starring the daughter of Viking legend, Erik the Red

The Saga of the Greenlanders is an old Norse text from the 13th century that portrayes event from 970-1030, tells the tale of Leif Erikson’s journeys to Greenland and North America. Erik the Red (Erikson’s father) had a daughter who is sparsely mentioned in Norse folk tales, but certainly seems to have been a bit of a character. In the Saga, she forms a partnership with a pair of Vikings to travel with her brother, Leif Erikson, and almost immediately betrayed them, eventually telling her husband they had beaten her. He then took his men and killed the two partners. Upon refusing to kill five women in their camp, Freydis picked up an axe and slaughtered them herself.

Freydis is also mentioned in the later Saga of Erik the Red, where she is portrayed a little better, if just as much of a maniac. On an expedition to Vinland (a part of coastal North America) led by Þorfinnr Karlsefni, they were attacked by natives with catapults. Never having seen weapons like these, the Vikings retreated, but were admonished by Freydis, who was eight months pregnant. She exposed a breast, picked up a sword and charged the enemy, scaring them off.

This latest coin from Coin Shoppe, Pela Coins and the Mint of Poland taps into that wild persona perfectly, depicting Freydis, gilded sword in hand, leaping from a Viking Longship to do battle. All the classic Viking elements are in place and perfectly designed. The ornate bows of the longships, the wooden shield and the runic iconography are all present and correct. All told, it’s exactly how you would imagine the scene would’ve looked back then.

The obverse has the usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on it, but she’s surrounded by an extensive selection of runes. We’d imagine this will be a common obverse for the series and it works well for the subject. There’s tons of exquisite high relief on the reverse face, and like most of this genre from the Mint of Poland, its a two ounce silver coin , rimless, and with an antique finish.

It’s cool to see new subjects on coins in the ancient history/mythology market, and this is another that looks quite exceptional in appearance. We’ve always had a soft spot for coins that lean more towards the real than the fantasy, and this one is certainly no exception. It should be available to pre-order shortly, with shipping around the end of June.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $5 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND