The National Bank of Poland have issued (12th July) three coins to mark both the Summer Olympic Games in London this year and to highlight Polish participation in the modern Olympic movement since the early days of the Games.
To date, the Olympics have included a total of 2,600 Polish athletes. Poland’s debut coincided with the Games in Paris in 1924 and immediately resulted in medals won and outstanding performances (silver and bronze medals were awarded to Adam Krolikiewicz, rider in show jumping). Poland’s first-ever gold medal was awarded just four years later to Halina Konopacka who won the women’s discus throw competition in Amsterdam. A total 275 medals have so far been won by Polish athletes from the years 1924 to the most recent winter games in 2010. Of this total, a staggering 64 of these medals are gold, a statistic which all Poles are very proud of.
The most successful performances for the Polish team were during the 1976 Games held in Montreal, which saw the Polish team bring home as many as 26 medals. Poland’s national anthem was played for a total of seven times during the Games in Tokyo in 1964, Munich in 1972 and Atlanta in 1996. The national team were also celebrated for their participation in the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing games winning no fewer than 10 medals in each Olympiad. It is anticipated that the Polish team will make their mark in several sports events including tennis, weight lifting, and badminton. Among the combat sports category, Poland is looking forward to the results realized by the judo & wrestling team.
The coins, struck by the Mint of Poland, are three in total, a gold version with a face value of 200 Zlotych, a silver 10 Zlotych, and a Nordic gold circulation type coin of 2 Zlotych. The three coins are designed by artist Andrzej Nowakowski (reverse side of the 2 Zlotych coin is designed by Ewa Tyc Karpińska) and capture some of the most familiar images which the Olympiad is known for and admired.
200 Zlotych: The obverse depicts three stylized images of athletes as the pole vault is demonstrated. To the right side of the primary design is the stylized logo of the Polish Olympic Committee. Along the rim above the design is the text” POLSKA REPREZENTACJA OLIMPIJSKA LONDYN 2012″ The reverse includes two separate fields, crisscrossed by lines forming semi-circular stylized checkers, placed in stylized images of athletes of different sports included within the incused shapes. Towards the right of the primary design is the image of the crowned Eagle, emblem of the Polish Republic along with the year “2012” and to the lower right corner, is the coin’s denomination of 200 Zl. The text “RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA” is placed in the middle of the coin. Minted in .900 fine gold with a weight of 15.5 grams and a diameter of 27 mm. A total mintage of 5000 pieces has been authorized.
10 Zlotych: The obverse includes a composition consisting of the stylized images of athletes of different sports against the five stylized Olympic rings. Along the upper rim above the primary design is the text “POLSKA REPREZENTACJA OLIMPIJSKA LONDYN 2012″ in three lines respectively. The reverse includes a background of stylized familiar images of the panoramic view of London. The image of the crowned Eagle as the emblem of the Polish Republic is also featured as part of the primary design. To the left of the Eagle the year of issue, 2012 and to the right of the Eagle is the coin’s denomination of 10 ZL. Above the design is the text: RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA”. Towards the lower right half is the stylized logo of the Polish Olympic Committee and Just under the Eagle’s left claw is the mintmark MW. Minted in sterling silver with a weight of 14.1 grams and a diameter of 32 mm. A mintage of 50,000 pieces has been authorized.
2 Zlotych: The obverse design includes a stylized image of an athlete running on a background of overlapping outlines and silhouettes of fellow runners. Underneath the primary design is the stylized logo of the Polish Olympic Committee. On the left side along the rim, is the text “POLSKA REPREZENTACJA OLIMPIJSKA”. Towards the lower right along the rim is the text “LONDYN 2012”. The reverse includes the standard design for the circulation type, that of the national symbol, the crowned eagle positioned in the center and the coin’s denomination of 2 ZL. Just underneath. Struck in aluminium-bronze or “Nordic gold” the coin weighs 8.1 grams with a diameter of 27 mm. A mintage of 1,000,000 pieces has been authorized.
For more information on these and other coins issued by the National Bank of Poland, please visit the website of the Mint of Poland at: http://www.mennica.com.pl/produkty-i-uslugi/produkty-mennicze/monety-nbp/monety-kolekcjonerskie.html The information is currently only available in Polish.