Royal Dutch Mint’s ‘Castle Ducats’ silver coin series continues in 2021 with Loevestein Castle

After twelve issues of Silver Ducats running from 2015 to 2019, all themed around the Dutch provinces, the Royal Dutch Mint launched a new themed ducat series last year, one that looks at some of the castles in this former European powerhouse. The mint ramped up the release schedule last year, with the first four releases putting in an appearance, and now we have the fifth – the first of 2021.

Loevestein Castle is depicted in the background field of the coin, as previous castles have been, shown realistically, and almost in full. It’s a simple style, but one that seems to work well for the subject. All coins in this series have the required knight in armour on the reverse face – Godard de Ginkell (1644 –1703) doing the honours for ‘Castle Ducats’.

As always, the rarely used 0.873 fineness silver is what these coins are composed of, a standard, not troy, ounce of it. Struck to a proof finish and presented in a tin with a Certificate of Authenticity, fans of the various Ducat ranges will surely like these coins, firmly based in history as they are, and completely eschewing the fantasy side that often blights coin designs.

Lower down you can see the fourth and final 2020 release, showcasing Mulderslot Castle. and earlier releases were Hoensbroek Castle, Heeswijk Castle and De Haar Castle. This one is available to order now, and should be shipping later this month.

LOEVESTEIN CASTLE

Loevestein Castle plays an important role in one of the most famous stories in Dutch history: the escape of Hugo Grotius in 1621. The castle celebrates the 400th anniversary of this special event this year.

Around 1361, knight Diederic Loef of Horne (Dirc Loef van Horne) had a blockhouse built at a strategic location where the Meuse (Dutch: Maas) and Waal rivers converged. Within ten years he extended it, turning it into a castle. In the 16th century, the Provinces of the Low Countries were embroiled in a bitter struggle with the Spanish king. William of Orange had Loevestein Castle fortified and discovered that it would make an excellent prison. Almost all rooms were used as a cell. The large hall on the second floor is still called the “Staatsgevangenis” (State Prison) to this day. Prisoners included political and religious dissidents, as well as prisoners of war. Its most famous prisoner was writer and jurist Hugo Grotius (Hugo de Groot) who put Loevestein on the map with his spectacular escape in a book chest. During his imprisonment, Hugo regularly received a chest filled with books. The guards thoroughly inspected the chest every time, but as nothing out of the ordinary was ever found, they became more careless in their inspections each time. Hugo’s wife and their maid devised a plan to help Hugo escape inside that notorious book chest. With great success! In 2021, Loevestein Castle celebrates the “Hugo Grotius Year” to commemorate this grand spectacle.

MULDERSLOT CASTLE

The grand Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot is one of the most famous castles in the Netherlands. Fun fact: it is known as the residence of Sinterklaas when he visits the Netherlands in November and December. The castle has a long history. In 1285, the Muiderslot arose with a sole purpose: to defend! The castle was commissioned by Floris V (1254 – 1296), Count of Holland. After his death, parts of the castle were destroyed. Through the centuries the castle has been used, inhabited, taken, demolished, rebuilt and spruced. The castle was also expanded.

The Dutch poet and writer Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1647), better known as P.C. Hooft, moved into Muiderslot Castle in 1609. He was responsible for the construction of the gardens. In 1878, the castle became one of the first national museums (“rijksmuseums”) in the Netherlands. It was renovated thoroughly by the architect Pierre Cuypers, famous for his work at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Amsterdam Central Station. The architect was however also responsible for the current exterior of the beautiful De Haar Castle in Haarzuilens, Utrecht. It is no wonder that this castle was one of the first to be eternalised on a Silver Ducat in the series “Dutch Castles”. Discover Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot and the other Dutch castles in this impressive series on our website.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION None
COMPOSITION 0.873 silver
WEIGHT 28.25 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 2,000
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
ROYAL DUTCH MINT