Slavic Bestiary moves from the water to the home, with a new silver coin featuring the household god, Domowik

The Mint of Gdańsk continues to take us through the world of Slavic mythology using a series of three-ounce silver coins. The first coin in this series featured a water-born deity latterly associated with death, but for the second coin, we’re heading into the home with a god who dedicated his life to the protection of the household.

We were impressed with the debut Rusalka coin, not just for its obvious design aesthetics, but for its choice of subject. Norse, Greco-Roman, and Chinese gods have dominated the mythology genre in coins for some time, so we’re always pleased to see something less understood, and outside the realms of Eastern Europe, Slavic mythology is certainly that. It is, however, inventive and rich, so perfect for coins.

The Domowik is depicted intertwined with the elements of an old house, both natural creatures, and the owner’s possessions. We think this is a terrific design. The depiction of the Domowik is amazing, full of character, weird, yet unthreatening. There’s detail everywhere, no part of the reverse face lacking interest. Some subtle colouration on a jar, and the far background as a whole, frames the creature without distracting from it, and the gilded title is well-placed.

The common obverse returns, but that’s fine, as it’s one of the best out there at the moment. A central pill with the issue details on it is surrounded by a beautiful scene of nature, with hints at creatures lurking within. The coin will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, of course, and 500 will be struck at most. Available to order now, with shipping around mid-Q1/2023, this is a super issue, both an interesting change from the usual subjects, and exhibiting a quirky, personal artistic style. First class.


In the Slavic religious tradition, Domowik is the household spirit of a given kin. They are deified progenitors, that is to say the fountainhead ancestors of the kin. According to the Russian folklorist E. G. Kagarov, the Domovoy (Russian name for Domowik) is a personification of the supreme Rod in the microcosm of kinship. Sometimes he has a female counterpart, Domania, the goddess of the household, though he is most often a single god. The Domowik expresses himself as a number of other spirits of the household in its different functions.

The Domowik is usually represented as an old, gray-haired man with flashing eyes. He may manifest in the form of animals, such as cats, dogs or bears, but also as the master of the house or a departed ancestor of the given family, sometimes provided with a tail and little horns. In some traditions, the Domowik are symbolised as snakes. Household gods were represented by the Slavs as statuettes, made of clay or stone, which were placed in niches near the house’s door, and later on the mantelpieces above the ovens.

The Domowik are believed to protect the well-being of a kin in any of its aspects. They are very protective towards the children and the animals of the house, constantly looking after them. These gods are often represented as fighting with one another, to protect and make grow the welfare of their kin. In such warfare, the Domowik of the eventual winner family is believed to take possession of the household of the vanquished rivals.

They are believed to share the joys and the sorrows of the family, and to be able to forebode and warn about future events, such as the imminent death of a kindred person, plagues, wars or other calamities which threaten the welfare of the kin. The Domowik become angry and reveal their demonic aspect if the family is corrupted by bad behaviour and language. In this case, the god may even quit and leave the kin unprotected against illness and calamity.

Also, the tradition of Russian people “Sitting on the lane” which means spending a few minutes in silence sitting down before a long journey is connected with the Domowik. According to the legend, the Domovoy does not like to be alone. Otherwise, he can hide or take things of the owners of the house. Thus, the owners are trying to deceive Domovoy, pretending that they are not going to leave their place of residence for a long time. (Source: adapted from Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION 2000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, colour, gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes