The Witcher goes gold. All-new companion series to the chunky silver coins debuts with ‘The Last Wish’

WIth Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings movie trilogy having resurrected fantasy as a viable genre, and Game of Thrones having done the same for television, it’s of little surprise that the big media companies starting casting a wider net for stories to mske the transition to the visual world. There are plenty of choices.

One of the best ones is a world created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski through six novels and 15 short stories. Having popularity in Poland and many Eastern European countries for some time, it actually took a videogame to push the saga into worldwide prominence – an exceptionally well crafted and recieved one. It’s snowballed from there.

The novels tell the story of Geralt of Rivia, a hunter of supernatural beasts, who has some supernatural abilities of his own. Living on a continent populated by elves and dwarves now conquered by humans, it follows Geralt’s adventures through the war-torn Northern Kingdoms.

We’ve already seen some coins for the franchise released by the Mint of Gdansk and struck by the Mint of Poland, namely two paired issues, one pair per year. Each release was made up of a two-ounce and a one-kilo silver coin, antique-finished, and high-relief. As well as the coins, they’ve also released a quite superb silver miniature, also in two sizes, of Gerlat of Rivia. Each is crafted around the actual books rather than the Henry Cavill led TV show, something we wholeheartedly approve of here.

Joining the range this week is a new gold series starting back with the first book, The Last Wish. These are more in the style of the New Zealand Mint’s ‘Classic’ ranges, choosing to prioritise the art over the gimmicks, and as such, are straight and clean proof finish designs.

There are again, two sizes on offer. The popular one-ounce format is the one that shows off the design to its full potential, but with the price of gold where it is, there needs to be a more affordable option and the producer has chosen a tenth-ounce version to fill the role. It’s a nice compromise, with the 16 mm diameter just offering enough space to keep the looks intact, and the price staying relatively accessible. Maybe a minigold 0.5 gram version would be a nice addition, given how The Witcher is showing strong appeal with the younger generation.

We like the design. Depicting Geralt in a fight with Torque, a goats horn headed herbivore beast that was spying for the elves living in the Valley of Flowers. Even better, the obverse is also heavily customised from the usual standard Niue effigy of QEII. Liz of Windsor is still present, but surrounded by a selection of elements from the story. We like this increasingly popular customisation of the obverse on Niue issues. The effigy is important, in our view, but it doesn’t need to dominate.

The packaging looks suoerb. Gloss wood, themed with gilded highlights, they’re certainly elegant items and it all rounds out a good-looking package for the fan. Even the smaller gold coin gets the full treatment in this regard, although that version is quite pricey in comparison to the bigger coin.

All told, a really nice addition to the Witcher range and a fine indicator of what we can expect from the gold series over the next seven years, as this is to be an eight-issue programme ending in 2028. Both coins are available to pre-order right now, with shipping currently scheduled in late November.

SERIES ISSUE SCHEDULE

1. The Last Wish (2021)

2. Sword of Destiny (2022)

3. Blood of Elves (2023)

4. Time of Contempt (2024)

5. Baptism of Fire (2025)

6. The Tower of the Swallow (2026)

7. The Lady of the Lake (2027)

8. Season of Storms (2028)

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $50 NZD (Niue) $15 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 3.11 grams
DIMENSIONS 32.0 mm 16.0 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS None None
MINTAGE 200 1,000
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
MINT OF GDANSK