Mint of Poland widens its look at Slavic mythology with a new coin featuring Skarbek, the Spirit of Coalmines

It appears that ‘Slavic Gods’ isn’t going to be the only facet of Eastern European mythology showcased by the Mint of Poland as today, they’ve released a new coin looking at other aspects of it. Indeed, Skarbek, the Spirit of the Coalmine isn’t one of the more widely known myths and it’s great to see something original like this for a change.

In many respects, this coin follows the tried and tested two-ounce, antique-finished formula that has helped earn the Mint of Poland a reputation in the top tier, but it remains one of their less ambitious designs in terms of minting technique. It is a pretty neat piece of work, however, with the spirit perfectly placed within its habitat. There’s a lot of fine detail all over and the charcoal application at the bottom enhances the sense that this is a coal mine, rather than, for example, a gold mine. It also helps with lhe sense of depth, essentially forming a foreground layer.

The spirit is holding a lamp, which is highlighted by a piece of inset yellow amber. Again, it’s well incorporated into the design, even if it isn’t our favourite addition to coins like these.All told, we actually like this one. It isn’t up there with the mints top tier mythology stuff, and the basic obverse is a missed opportunity given the mints track record, but we love the esoteric subject choice – a welcome change from another Odin coin.

This one is put out directly by the mint and should start appearing at dealers very shortly. As you can see below, it comes with a nice box and a C.O.A. and has a mintage of 500 pieces. We get the impression from the release info that this is a one-off rather than a series, but given the rich variety of such legends in the region, we’d not be surprised to see another one.


The KarzeĊ‚ek or Skarbnik, Kladenets (Russian, the Treasurer) or Dzedka (Belarusian) in Slavic mythology live in mines and underground workings and are the guardians of gems, crystals, and precious metals. It is said that they will protect miners from danger and lead them back when they are lost. They will also lead them to veins of ore. To people who are evil or insult them they are deadly, pushing them into dark chasms or send tunnels crashing down upon them. Hurling rocks, whistling, or covering one’s head are actions that are offensive to Skarbnik, who will warn the offender with handfuls of pelted soil in their direction before taking serious action. (Wikipedia)

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS high-relief, Amber insert, Charcoal decoration
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “KARZELEK”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0