Author Topic: Poland: Design series of 1995  (Read 1657 times)

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Offline <k>

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Poland: Design series of 1995
« on: January 01, 2013, 10:21:08 PM »
In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR, and within a few years the winds of change were blowing through Central and Eastern Europe. If Hitler started World War 2, it could be said that Gorbachev ended it, as the hectic year of 1989 saw the post-war communist regimes collapse one after another, climaxing with the shooting of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife by firing squad on Xmas day. Throughout 1990 and 1991 the great political changes continued, ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The first half of the 1990s were a gift to numismatists, as the new republics gradually issued their independence coinages, with new designs. Though Poland had become democratic in December 1990, when Solidarity’s Lech Walensa assumed the presidency, we had to wait until 1995 to see Poland’s new coinage. Apparently it had been in production since 1990, and some of the new coins bore that date, but its release had been delayed until 1995, to coincide with the redenomination of the zloty.

Some of the new republics had produced bold new designs for their coins. What were Poland’s like? Well, the Poles had retained their splendid eagle on the obverse of all the coins, simply adding a crown to its head, despite the fact that Poland remained a republic, albeit no longer a “people’s republic”.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 10:21:38 PM »
The reverses of the coins were delicately decorated with foliage – a rather disappointing choice, given the stirring and tumultuous events of Poland’s recent history, and one that gave the new coins rather an old-fashioned look. To add interest to the rather dull theme, the designers had used the old trick of relating the design to the denomination. Here on the 1, 2, and 5 grozy coins you see one, two and five oak leaves.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 10:22:04 PM »
The 10, 20 and 50 groszy, along with the 1 zloty, also showed leaves, but overlaid on one another this time, forming a pattern. Perhaps you could imagine there were ten, twenty and fifty and one hundred leaves respectively, but since the leaves merge into one another, it  is hard to discern any distinct number. If you start something, you should finish it properly, I feel, but at this point the unity of the designs seems to falter.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 10:22:51 PM »
The design theme picks up again when you see that the 2 and 5 zloty depict two and five stylised leaves respectively. However, shouldn’t this mean that the 1 zloty coin should sport only a single leaf, rather than a wreath? So once again the unity of the theme falters. I felt rather cheated that I had waited so many years to see Poland’s new designs, when they seemed stylistically very timid and, in concept and execution, poorly thought out and a let-down.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 10:23:09 PM »
This design series still circulates in Poland, but apparently the country’s politicians want to join the euro. While it would be sad to see the Polish economy eaten up and torn apart inside the black hole of the euro zone, at least they could hardly get any worse designs than those they already have. There is talk of putting the Polish eagle, Pope John Paul II and the Solidarity logo on any potential euro coins. Perhaps a kinder solution would be simply to partition Poland and share it out between Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 11:41:28 AM »
Well, the Poles had retained their splendid eagle on the obverse of all the coins, simply adding a crown to its head, despite the fact that Poland remained a republic, albeit no longer a “people’s republic”.

Looks somewhat strange indeed, but until WW2 the eagle of the Polish Republic had a crown too. So it made some sense to add it again ... The first coins with that "new" eagle were actually issued in 1990, a 50 zł and a 100 zł coin which were added to the existing range of denominations.

As for all that anti-euro vitriol in your last post, oh well. As long as the UK stays out, instead of once again joining some union where it only acts like a Trojan Horse, I'm happy. 8) Not that I care much about which country might join the currency union at what time, but I don't think Poland is waiting in line. See Figleaf's comment here ...

Christian

Offline chrisild

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Re: Poland: Design series of 1995
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 02:50:41 PM »
Yep, those were the additional pieces. So for a few years they used coins which had the "old eagle" and the old country name (People's Republic), and those new denominations, with the crowned eagle and the new country name (Republic). Guess that, since the emblem change was not a radical one, the Polish government did not bother in the few years between the introduction of the new name/CoA and the redenomination. :)

Agreed about the "break" as far as the designs are concerned. Another thing that I find strange is that the regular 2 zł coin (which I find interesting) is so different, in terms of size and composition, from the 2 zł commems that can be had at face ...

Christian