The second pair of Mint of Gdansk’s ‘The Witcher’ silver coins debut with scenes from ‘Sword of Destiny’
Continuing to make a pleasant change from the many silver coins featuring the ancient world, the Mint of Gdansk’s ‘The Witcher’ series continues its eight-issue jaunt through the hugely popular world created by Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski. Each of the eight issues is comprised of a pair of coins, encompassing a regular 2 oz version, and a huge for the genre 1 kilo version with a completely different design.
Sensibly enough, the second annual issue takes the second novel, ‘Sword of Destiny’, for inspiration and depicts scenes from the best selling book. The smaller coin is said to depict a pivotal scene in the saga. “The Queen of Brokilon, Eithne, is holding the goblet and hands it to
Ciri, one of the main figures in the Witcher saga. Next to her is Dryad Braenn.The goblet is filled with the Brokilone Water, containing special
powers. Drinking water from the goblet is to determine the fate of Cir and the others – she may choose to stay in Brokilon or follow her
destiny. In the background we see Geralt The Witcher, who has killed skolopendromorf- a forest creature attacking the local residents.”. A gilded sword makes a nice focal point, as well as a green glass goblet with a crystal inset. The obverse is composed of many elements from the book and includes a small area with the effigy of QEII.
As before, the one-kilo coin is different and features a dragon battle at its main attraction, The obverse has an expansive scene where “we see an ancient bridge built by the trolls, that collapses during the passage. Geralt and Yennefer, holding on to the bridge, are eventually rescued by Jaskier and the others.”. The kilo coin carries on lwith ast years signature feature with a window through the coin, in this case filled with round yellow agate instead of the rectangular green piece in 2019. We only have line drawings of this one at present, but it looks highly promising.
The 2 oz coin has a mintage of 2,000 pieces, with the kilo capped at 200. Both seem well presented, especially the latter variant.The quality of the high-relief strike and the antique finishing will no doubt be first class, given the Mint of Poland is doing to job. Even though prices in general have risen, along with silver itself of course, the Mint of Gdansk is pegging prices to last years rates for an initial period, with a rise coming on 01 December, and another on 01 January, so if you are interested in these, early action will have benefits. Both will ship in early 2021, but are available to order now.
THE WITCHER UNIVERSE
The stories are set on an unnamed Continent, which was settled several thousand years earlier by elves from overseas. When they arrived, the elves encountered gnomes and dwarves. After a period of war between the elves and dwarves, the dwarves retreated into the mountains and the elves settled in the plains and forests. Human colonists arrived about five hundred years before the events in the stories, igniting a series of wars. The humans were victorious, and became dominant; the non-human races, now considered second-class citizens, often live in small ghettos within human settlements. Those not confined to the ghettos live in wilderness regions not yet claimed by humans. Other races on the Continent are halflings and dryads; werewolves and vampires appeared after a magical event, known as the Conjunction of the Spheres.
During the centuries preceding the stories, most of the Continent’s southern regions have been taken over by the Nilfgaard Empire; the north belongs to the fragmented Northern Kingdoms. The Witcher saga takes place in the aftermath of the first major war between the Nilfgaard Empire and the Northern Kingdoms, with a second war beginning in the middle of the series.
The Continent can be divided into four regions. The Northern Kingdoms (where most of the saga takes place) consists of Aedirn, Cidaris, Cintra, Hengfors League, Kaedwen, Kerack, Kovir and Poviss, Lyria and Rivia, Redania, Temeria and Verden and several minor duchies and principalities such as Bremervoord or Ellander. The Nilfgaard Empire occupies most of the area south of the Northern Kingdoms. The eastern part of the Continent, such as the Korath desert, Zerrikania, Hakland and the Fiery Mountains, is mostly unknown. The book series mentions overseas countries with whom the Northern Kingdoms trade, including Zangvebar, Ofir, Hannu and Barsa. (Wikipedia)
BOOKS, GAMES & TELEVISION
The Witcher short stories by the author Andrzej Sapkowski were first published in Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine Fantastyka, beginning in the mid-1980s. The first short story, “Wiedźmin” (“The Witcher”) (1986), was written for a contest held by the magazine and won third place. The series has ‘concluded’ with the publication of the sixth novel in the saga, although that isn’tt including the earlier short story compilations, The Last Wish, and the Sword of Destiny.
The novels became more widely known throughout the rest of the world after the story was used for an officially licenced video-game series by Polish company CD Projekt, the latest of which, The Witcher 3: WIld Hunt, is widely considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time, certainly in its genre. Released in 2015, it has shipped over 20 million copies across multiple formats since then.
There were a couple of Polish TV shows based around the books, but neither were much liked by the author, Andrzej Sapkowski. The big news, however, is that Netflix is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a new TV series starring Superman himself, Henry Cavill in the lead role. Due to air in December, it apparently leans more towards the horror aspects of the book in lieu of the fantasy elements. Early buzz is very positive and this could lead to the franchise hitting new heights, with a resurgence in readership of the books as a result.
|DENOMINATION||$5 NZD (Niue)||$50 NZD (Niue)|
|COMPOSITION||0.999 silver||0.999 silver|
|WEIGHT||62.2 grams||1000.00 grams|
|DIMENSIONS||45.0 mm||100.0 mm|
|MODIFICATIONS||High-relief, gilding, 3dP||High-relief, Agate|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes||Yes / Yes|
You were wrong where you said “rectangular green piece in 2019” since it is actually a piece shaped like a window (at the top there is an arch and it is not a right angle) and it is blue.
Regarding this series, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the 1 Kilo coins are of spectacular quality and designs. I have the one from last year and I love its design and finish. I also like the design of this year’s 2020 a lot and I’m looking forward to seeing photos of the real version. I will not continue collecting 1 Kilo coins because I prefer to buy many 1, 2, 3 or 5 ounce coins from other series with the same money. But if I had money to spare, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue with them.
The 2 ounces in this series, I no longer see them with such good eyes. I didn’t like the one from last year because of certain details of its design and because of the colored plastic insert. But the version of this year is for me, horrible. I mean the reverse, I do not like the design as it is made. The faces of the characters represented are especially poorly recreated, but Geralt of Rivia is at another level in terms of how poorly it is made. It seems that the 1 Kilo ones will continue to be very well made and the 2 ounce ones will get worse and worse.
The 2-ounce coins in this series also have 2,000 mintage and despite that they are sold at higher prices than other coins of the same mint with the same silver content and considerably smaller mintage.
I follow some series of Mennica Polska, for example the one that comes out every two years called Great Commanders and I have coins from many other series. If I had to say which coin I consider has the worst design of this mint in two-ounce format, I would undoubtedly say that this one dedicated to the Sword of Destiny.
Ok, colour wrong, but its broadly rectangular in shape, so I’m standing by that. As for the design, there’s plenty of choice out there in these formats, so everyone will like something different. As for value, that’s for the buyer to decide, but these are going to be more expensive because they’re from a big licenced media franchise. Ancient myths and legends are free to use.
It is true that since it is a franchise and not copyright-free themes, the price increases. But with 2,000 mintage I think the price for the 2-ounce versions should be lower. At least the minting quality and designs of that version should be better.
I am a fan of The Witcher franchise, but it seems that I should not be as much as I thought. Because they seem so ugly to me in this latest 2-ounce version that I wouldn’t want it even if they gave it to me.
This is the recent minting of the Mennica Polska that I have liked the least. Hopefully they improve the quality of the next six 2-ounce coins left.