The Mint of Poland has been busy. Here’s a round-up of the latest releases – Kitsune, Freya, Triton, and more.

We’ve been through phases when it seems like we’re covering one Mint of Poland struck coin after another, but after easing off a little, we’ve found an increasing number of good coins not getting covered, so our round-up format seems a good way to get back on track. We’ve left out the usual art coins, gift coins, scarab coins, etc., and concentrated on the more interesting pieces.

Kitsune, in particular, looks a fine piece, and fortunately, it’s one the mint has provided some close-up images of. These really do show the coins at their best, so we’re surprised they don’t do it more often, although as you can see here, it is becoming more common. There are a couple of issues in this selection of nine new ones that we’re not very keen on, but in general, the standard is very high, and a welcome reminder of what this mint can do.

Sadly, except in one case, each coin has a typical obverse. When they produce for third party companies, there are some beautiful themed obverse designs, but when they release for themselves, no effort is expended. A shame. For presentation, the mint has pretty much moved completely over to latex-skin ‘floating’ frames for this kind of release, and that’s not a bad thing. I really must update our guide to these kinds of coin.

2022 KITSUNE

The first coin we’re looking at is, in our view, one of the best. Called ‘Kitsune’, the Japanese for ‘Fox’, it refers to a mystical, paranormal fox with the ability to change into people, objects, or even landscapes. They’re portrayed as benign, often fulfilling the role of faithful guardians, friends, or even lovers. They can have up to nine tails, the more they have, the more powerful they are.

This is a very pretty design, the stylised fox flowing beautifully across the bottom half of the coin, and the copper plating employed to give it colour is quite perfect. A Japanese woman, holding a coloured Kitsune mask, dominates the rest of the coin, which is antique-finished. We love this one, for its choice of subject, and for the way it has been realised.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Antique, colour, copper 500 YES / YES

2022 ALTER EGO

Meant to express the duality of man, Alter Ego shows us two sides of the same individual, one happy and at peace, the other filled with rage. It’s quite similar to a 2021 issue by the Lithuanian Mint in concept, but has a style different enough to stand alone. Again, copper plating is used here to great effect, with it also enjoying the same antiquing that’s been employed on the silver section. A nice design.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
2,000 Francs (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Antique, copper 600 YES / YES

2022 TRITON

Triton is the son of Poseidon, and like his father, is associated with the trident, which the Mint of Poland has depicted him wielding. It’s another great-looking coin, in a genre this producer has mastered over the last few years. There’s a terrific sense of depth and perspective on display here, and the detailed sea/wave background is excellent.

The tentacled arms weave around the figure, and the gilded crown and trident are a nice touch. Again, there’s very little not to like here, even if the subject and style has been heavily used in recent years.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Antique, gilding 600 YES / YES

2022 FREYA

Considered the most beautiful of the Norse goddesses, Freya was associated with love and fertility and was often depicted with two winged cats. Both of those are present in this very attractive coin, seemingly ‘inspired’ by the Helvetic Mint’s gorgeous ‘Dark Beauties’ series. She is depicted covered in Norse symbology, and leaning on a sword.

While Freya is often shown wearing a golden chain, instead of gilding, the necklace on the coin is actually highlighted using a red resin. This one eschews the antique finish for black proof, which, from the images, seems to suit.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Black proof, resin 500 YES / YES

2022 IN VICTORIA

A soldier in classic Roman armour, carrying a gladus, and standing arms erect in triumph in the Colosseum, is how the Mint of Poland has chosen to define the concept of victory. To be honest, it works. A one-ounce coin for a change, so more affordable, it gives up nothing in design integrity as a result.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm Antique, gilding 799 YES / YES

2022 DEVILS & DEMONS II: MEPHISTOPHELES

Following last years ‘Beelzebub’ issue, Mephistopheles is another representation of Satan, this time in one of his more exotic and disturbing forms. The coin has quite a chilling depiction of the character, sitting astride a giant throne of bones. While Beelzebub relied on copper plating for its highlights, Mephistopheles allows red resin to do the heavy lifting. As it’s being used to depict the flames of hell, it’s a sensible change. The chain border is a neat touch.

This is also one of a rare number of coins that the Mint of Poland issues itself, that has an enhanced obverse design. Usually it’s just an effigy of QE-II for their Niue coins, and the coat-of-arms of Cameroon for those, but there’s a pentagram and horns design here that ties in with the main subject.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
2,000 Francs (Cameroon) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Antique, resin 500 YES / YES

2022 NESSIE

We think just about everybody knows the nonsensical tale of the sea monster living in Loch Ness, called ‘Nessie’. Said by believers to be a lost plesiosaur trapped in the extremely deep waters of the loch, regular sightings keep interest in this lucrative tourist attraction alive and well.

I will straight up say that I’m not a fan of this one. The application of blue resin to represent the water is strangely chosen, seemingly taking a random section of the water that just confuses. You have a tree to the back left that seems to be floating, and two bushes by the castle that appear to be sprouting from Nessie’s ears. As for Nessie herself, the decision to run her neck down with the castle behind, is also a poor one, reducing contrast. You may like this one, but we don’t.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 32.9 g 41.0 mm Black proof, resin 600 YES / YES

2022 THE DROWNER

Another of those rare forays into the interesting world of Slavic mythology, ‘Drowner’ tells the story of a creature that inhabits reservoirs and lakes, causing them to flood, or burst their banks. A malevolent creature, they’re also known as Utopiec, or Topnik.

It’s a strange looking beast, if the coin is to be believed, and makes an equally strange coin as a result. We think that actually works in its favour, offering something a little different from the norm. A quick glance at the close-up images indicates a high-quality strike, and it’s a coin we really quite like.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Antique, colour, resin 500 YES / YES

2022 YETI

Everybody knows what a Yeti is, and the depiction on the Mint of Poland’s coin is as accurate a guess as any other. It’s a little simplistic, and one of the weaker designs here, in our view, but the black proof finish seems a more appropriate way to depict ice than an antique one.

The footprint, probably the most famous part of the Yeti myth, is filled with a clear blue resin, but generally, a simpler affair than the other issues we’ve looked at this time.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 62.2 g 45.0 mm Black proof, resin, colour 500 YES / YES
MINT OF POLAND