The National Bank of Poland has issued its ninth coin in a series commemorating coinage from throughout the nation’s history. The newest issue marks the start of the third part of the series, which is dedicated to coins from the modern era.
The “Ducat of Sigismund the Elder” features an obverse and reverse that incorporate the design of the original gold ducat pieces from the time of Sigismund the Elder, King of Poland from 1506 to 1548. The coin is composed of 28.28 grams of 92.5% silver, measures 38.61 mm in diameter, and has a mintage limited to 20,000 pieces.
The coin’s reverse features a depiction of the original ducat reverse from the time of Sigismund the Elder. It bears an image of a White Eagle, the Lithuanian Chase, the Russian Lion, the Prussian Eagle, and the Habsburg coat of arms. Surrounding the shield is the Latin inscription, IVSTVS VT PALMA FLOREBIT, meaning “the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.”
Situated around this historical reverse design is a larger, more modern rendering of the crowned White Eagle, with the inscription DUKAT ZYGMUNTA STAREGO, or “ducat of Sigismund the Old,” curving along the rim.
The obverse features a depiction of the original ducat obverse, which carries an effigy of the king and the inscription, SIGIS I REX POL, or “Sigismund I: King.” To the lower right of the original ducat design is a contemporary 20 zloty coin bearing the inscriptions RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (“Republic of Poland”), 2016, and the coin’s denomination of 20 ZL. Surrounding these is a design based on the interior dome of the Sigismund Chapel in the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow.
Distribution of the coin outside of Poland is limited. Secondary market purveyors are offering coins in this series on sites such as eBay for around $60-$80 USD. For more information on the History of the Polish Coin: Ducat of Sigismund the Elder, please visit the Web Site of the National Bank of Poland.