One of the more impressive, classically styled coin series of recent years is the National Bank of Poland’s (NBP) Treasures of Stanislaw August. A 24-coin series only part way through, it’s very closely inspired by a set of medallions commissioned by Stanislaw August Poniatowski around 1790 and issued by the Warsaw mint between 1791 and 1798. Depicting Kings and Queens of Poland from 992 to 1795, the medallions were very impressive, as are the very similar coins out now.

Although issued by the Narodwy Bank, they are in fact struck for them by the Mennica Polska, or Mint of Poland. Now the Mint of Poland has debuted a companion series of its own, struck with the same basic design ethos, but featuring the mistresses of Polish rulers. Starting off where Treasures of Stanislaw August did with Boleslaw I the Brave, the first coin features Queen Emnilda, his wife.

The specification is pretty much identical to Treasures. A healthy two ounces in weight, with a 45mm diameter means these are well sized. The reverse design is heavily influenced by the earlier series also, but the major difference lies with the obverse. Being an NBP product, the Treasures series is issued for Poland, but the Mint of Poland has no right to issue for its home country, so tends to issue for Niue instead. These are no exception, but that hasn’t prevented the mint from doing plenty of customisation instead of simply sticking with the standard effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

All in, if you liked Treasures of Stanislaw August, you’ll like these we think. With the release schedule of that series slowing down recently, they’ll be plenty of room for these to empty collectors wallets. There’s no gold version in this case, but we’re not surprised given the price of 2oz gold coins, combined with the niche nature of the subject. The Mint of Poland has to keep one eye on the world market where it mainly operates, the NBP being primarily concerned with the internal Polish market. Packaging looks good and the coin should be available to order now, although they seem hard to track down at present.

 

COIN IMAGES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

CONTEMPORARY CONTINUATION OF MEDAL SERIES COMMISSIONED BY KING STANISŁAW AUGUST PONIATOWSKI

Emnilda of Slovenia was a daughter of prince Dobromir, a Slavic ruler of Lusatia and Milsko. Her wedding with Bolesław I the Brave took place around 987. During her long and successful marriage, Emnilda bore her husband five children – two sons and three daughters. Her older son, Mieszko II Lambert, became the king of Poland in 1025.

It is s said that Emnilda was a merciful, good and God-fearing woman having a great influence on her quick-tempered husband. This fact was confirmed by two historians – Thietmar of Merseburg and Gallus Anonymus. Most probably, Emnilda also had a considerable influence on the state affairs. Presumably, in 1013 she accompanied Boleslaw I to the meeting of Merseburg to strengthen the power of her oldest son. Her participation put in jeopardy the succession rights of Boleslaw I’s eldest son Bezprym, who, ultimately, was removed from power in favor of his younger half-brother.

REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – portrait of Emnilda, queen consort, spouse of Bolesław I the Brave. Along the rim – name of the coin in Polish: KRÓLOWA EMNILDA ŻONA BOLESŁAWA I CHROBREGO.

OBVERSE: Left-hand– effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Next to it, left-hand – issuer: NIUE ISLAND. Right-hand – inscriptions: ELIZABETH II, 2 DOLLARS (face value), 2016 (year of issue), m/w (mint mark), Ag 999 (hallmark). Along the rim – stylized decorative surface: ornament, royal insignia.

STANISLAW AUGUST SERIES: BOLESLAW I

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 45.0 mm SPECIMEN 500 YES / YES

MINT LINK

MENNICA POLSKA