The National Bank of Poland is releasing gold Proof 10-zlotych coins which launches a new series entitled “Banknotes in Circulation” in Poland, and which pays tribute to the graphic designer Andrzej Heidrich (1928–2019), whose work graces the current series of Polish banknotes. Prior to the current banknote series entering circulation on the 1st January 1995, Poles were essentially, or colloquially, millionaires due to an inflated currency. In June 1989, the trade union Solidarity won an overwhelming victory in a partially free election in Poland, leading to the peaceful fall of communism in that country. As the country was nearing an end to the one-party communist rule imposed on it by the former USSR, it became clear the national currency would have to undergo substantial revision if it was to help repair and expand the economy. Consumer confidence in the zloty was poor, and prices and salaries were expressed nominally in the millions. That same year, news reached Poles that a new 200,000 zloty banknote, equal to U.S. $11.00, was to be placed into circulation by the National Bank. The news of the banknote became a story all its own as many Poles had believed it was misinformation and was received with great suspicion. This inflation-ridden denomination would be followed by 500,000–one million and, finally, two million zlotych banknotes. Before the release of a proposed 5,000,000 zloty banknote, the government had approved a re-calibration of the beleaguered currency in May 1994. The project of a fourth series of new banknotes and modified denominations was entrusted to Andrzej Heidrich, who first collaborated with Narodowy Bank Polski in 1960. His initial banknote designs, the National Bank’s third series, were entitled ‘The Great Poles’ and were first released in 1974 with the 500-zloty banknotes featuring the Statesman Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746–1817). A further 15 designs would be circulated over the next 18 years, with denominations ranging from 10 to 2,000,000 zloty.
The Polish złoty’s recalibration was agreed to at a ratio of 10,000 old zloty to one new zloty, and a public awareness campaign was carried out in time to prepare and inform Poles. On the 1st January 1995, previous banknotes with the face value of 10,000 złoty were replaced with a new one-złoty coin, and one million złoty banknotes transitioned into 100 new złoty. Because of the re-calibration of the currency, it was possible to design and release coins which divided the zloty into 100 grozy, a forgotten denomination that disappeared from circulation many years previously. In 1995, banknotes of “The Polish Rulers” series in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 złotych were placed into circulation, with a 500-złoty banknote (U.S. $121.00) being introduced into circulation in 2017. The new series featuring images of Polish royal rulers on the obverse or front side was also designed by Andrzej Heidrich, affectionately referred to as the “king of Polish banknotes,” so highly regarded was his exceptional designs over the years. He passed away on the 20th October 2019 at the age of 90 years and was buried at Powazki Cemetary in Warsaw.
The first coin which launches the series is the 10-zloty denomination and produced by the Mint of Poland at their facilities in Warsaw, on behalf of the National Bank. The original banknote dated “1994” measures 120 by 60 millimetres and is dark brown and green in colour. Revised and updated versions were released with banknotes dated 2012 and 2016. The obverse side features a stylised image of the contemporary circulation banknote, with a face value of 10 złoty. Off-right and centred is a portrait of Duke Mieszko. Two stylised Romanesque rosettes can be seen in the background of the inscriptions denoting the bank and face value which is shown in a vertical direction. On the right of the portrait is an oval shape with fragments of a crown and a decorative plant ornament underneath. The reverse side replicates the back side of the 10-zlotych banknote, which features an image of a silver denarius with a depiction of a chapel dome or an image of a crown with a cross. The denarius is flanked by stylised fragments of columns and a ribbon. On the left of the image of the denarius, there is an oval with fragments of a crown. To the right and above the initials NBP is an image of the crowned eagle, a national symbol of the Polish Republic and the year of issue, 2023.
|31.1 g||50 x 25 mm||Proof||
Each coin is specially encapsulated to accommodate its rectangular shape and presented in a heavy gauge custom card case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here.