The architectural style of the visionary Antoni Gaudi is highlighted on the Mint of Poland’s new coin

Born in 1852, Catalonian, Antoni Gaudí, is one of the most revered and individualistic architects in modern history. He morphed his passion for nature and religion into a unique style of architecture, one that has its ultimate expression in the sublime Sagrada Família cathedral in Barcelona. In fact, most of his work resides in the Catalan capital, including one that seems to be a particular inspiration for this new Mint of Poland issue.

Park Güell sits on Carmel Hill, and is a private complex of gardens and striking architecture, designed by Gaudi, and constructed between 1900 and 1914. Built during his naturalistic phase, the buildings have a flowing, organic structure to them, something he later perfected for the Sagrada Familia. Used for the coin, is one of the buildings that sit either side of the park’s main entrance.

Packing the coin with more colour is an example of Gaudi’s vibrant stained-glass, and ceramic-fragment art, something that’s become an iconic feature of so many of his works. Wildly random in detail, yet forming cohesive wholes, they adorn everything from his smallest works, to his largest, and from floors to ceilings, but always as highlights, rather than as monolithic coverage. Gaudi died in 1926, never having seen the Sagrada Familia complete, although that isn’t unusual, as neither has anyone else – it’s still under construction. If the opportunity arises, I can wholeheartedly recommend a visit to the Sagrada, or the park, as both are amazing.

The coin is struck to a proof finish, and is formed from an ounce of 0.999 silver. The Mint of Poland does a fine job with its high-resolution digital colour application, and there’s laser frosting in the background, something they confusingly term ‘microprinting’. Display of the coin is easy with the supplied latex-skinned frame, and the certificate of authenticity is printed on the slip cover. The mintage is capped at 999 pieces. None of the release material indicates if this is to be the start of a series or not, but as Gaudi, also called ‘God’s Architect’, has seven works good enough to be UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we suspect that is indeed the case. Available to order now.

DENOMINATION 1,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes