The Witcher: Time of Contempt continues the numismatic journey through Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy classic

The much loved world of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski ‘The Witcher’ series of fantasy novels has been successfully making the transition to the numismatic world since 2019. Working their way through the two short story collections, and six main novels chronologically, Mint of Gdańsk has been issuing silver coins in both two-ounce, and one-kilo formats, offering unique designs, not just for each book, but for each of the two formats covering them.

The fourth issue takes the second major novel, ‘Time of Contempt’, for its source. The two-ounce design features a scene described by the mint as depicting ‘Ciri and the unicorn Ihuarraquax. Ihuarraquax was a young pure white unicorn who wandered the Korath desert with Ciri for a few days. She saved him after he was poisoned by a sand monster by using the Force found in the element of fire. Between them, they were able to find food and water for each other, and likely neither would have survived the desert without the other’.

The coin incorporates these elements well, and there are highlights, with Ciri’s dagger gilded, and the unicorn’s horn formed in mother-of-pearl. Both are subtle, and do not detract from the overall look. There’s a good use of high-relief, and the artist has managed to pack in many small details. Luckily, we have actual coin images of this one, including the attractive obverse, which employs a common border surrounding a scene unique to each release. A particular highlight for us.

The kilo coin continues the practice of using completely different artwork, and in this case it’s the Witcher Geralt’s fight with the wizard Vilgefortz. Sadly, we only have line renders at present, but the fight scene looks to have plenty of potential, and we like the obverse depiction of the Isle of Thanedd, home to Aretuza Academy, where young females are trained in magic. A piece of polished green aventurine is visible on both faces. We’ll try to get better images of this one.

A great series, especially for fans of the books on which it is based, whose numbers have no doubt swelled significantly because of the smash-hit games and TV series produced since publication. Just 200 of the kilo coins will be struck, although its smaller sibling is more numerous at 2,000. Available to order now either directly from the mint, or from many dealers worldwide.


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)


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 thing that has propelled the franchise into worldwide popularity, is Netflix pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a TV series starring Superman himself, Henry Cavill in the lead role. Now two seasons old, it’s earned a respectable following, further enhancing the fanbase for these much loved novels.

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
FINISH Antique Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding, mother-of-pearl High-relief, green aventurine
MINTAGE 2,000 200
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes