World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => Central and Eastern Europe => Central Europe => Topic started by: chrisild on January 18, 2008, 01:26:36 PM

Title: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: chrisild on January 18, 2008, 01:26:36 PM
Big birds seem to be popular coin themes these days. Two days ago Poland issued two collector coins dedicated to the falcon - a 20 zl silver piece and a 2 zl base metal (Nordic Gold) coin. And the branch offices of the central bank (NBP) suddenly became extremely popular: People waited in line for several hours to get one of the silver coins.

Here is a report (in Polish) with pictures of the presentation, including images of the coins:

This is an article (in English) about the coin craze:

And some people took pictures or mini-movies of the lines ... (guess that was in Warsaw, don't know) (Lublin - dramatic soundtrack ...) (Katowice) (Olsztyn)

"Are you waitin'?" ... How true. Or, as Obelix would say, "Ils sont fous ces Polonais." ;D

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: Figleaf on January 18, 2008, 04:10:38 PM
Like Americans, Poles have very little confidence in their own government. At the same time, they are getting rich quickly. Since few know where to invest their money and rumours are everywhere, I guess these people actually think this is a good investment and of course the lines are the best advertisements for this popular truth.

I am reminded of the French lady who was interviewed for a report on TV on hoarding at the time of the first Gulf war. Asked why she had bought such unbelievable amounts of sugar, she said "they refine sugar too, you know". You can't argue with them. Where would you begin?

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: Figleaf on January 18, 2008, 04:19:04 PM
Here's the article in case it disappears from the net.


New falcon 20 zloty coin sell out at NBP
17.01.2008, John Beauchamp
A new set of coins depicting wildlife has been minted by the National Bank of Poland. The fresh mint consists of a silver twenty zloty coin and a two zloty coin, both depicting the peregrine falcon, a bird which is slowly coming back to Poland after a prolonged absence?

Queues outside the National Bank of Poland snaked around the square yesterday, as many Poles were eager to get their hands on one of the most coveted coins to be minted in the ?world animals? series presented by the Bank.

?The coin of the Peregrine Falcon was very popular, as I know all these coins were sold yesterday. The first day, and the coin was introduced into circulation on the 16th January. We didn?t expect that it will be so popular but from the other hand we are happy to see so many people interested in this coin.?

Dariusz Rostkowski of the National Bank of Poland explained that the coin set, which is the 15th in the series since the Bank started issuing such collectables in 1993, was not expected to be produced on such a large scale:
?It was 107 thousand, about 25% more than we estimated six months ago, but we didn?t expect that it will be not enough. I read some agency news today from all the cities in Poland. In most of them the situation was relatively quiet, for example in Szczecin.?

In Warsaw the situation was anything but quiet, with over two and a half thousand people queueing for the coin for extraordinary lengths of time. For instance, these coin enthusiasts told us:
?Well, I joined the queue at two. I waited eight and a half hours for the coins?
I left home at a quarter to five, and I got here half an hour later?
I got here at eight o?clock in the evening the day before, and there were already fifty people waiting in line to the Bank??
Queues were so long that the National Bank didn?t shut its doors on time. Dariusz Rostkowski told me more:
?In Warsaw the last coins were sold at 8pm, so it was about five or six hours more than it works usually.?
Not everyone standing in line to the Bank was actually a collector though. Some people were queueing for other people as a cash service, quite literally, and others were purely speculative buyers:
?I didn?t go to school, but that?s life?
"It was worth it, I got seventy zlotys for queueing. We?ve been here for three, four hours, so it?s not a bad sum..."
"I?ve got six hundred zlotys in my pocket here, so it?s not all that bad! It?s normal, just like at the border, you wait in line. If you don?t want to queue, you have to pay someone else to. We?re making some cash out of it, so it?s all good??

The silver coin, whose reverse shows the peregrine falcon was designed by Roussanka Nowakowska, retailed at 91 zlotys, even though the nominal value of the coin is set at twenty zlotys. Internet auctions and numismatologists (coin collectors) are also cashing in on the new coin.

?Well, now it?s estimated be around four hundred zlotys a piece, the silver one, that?s how it?s been estimated. The price is rapidly changing because of the auctions just running at the moment,? Zbigniew Warakowski of, a numismatic portal

A quick look at Polish internet auction sites confirms that the new silver coin is causing a stir indeed. Dariusz Rostkowski from the National Bank of Poland is not surprised: ?We consider that some of them are not just simply interested in coins, but in some speculation. But as I know it?s normal in all of Europe. In every country the situation is the same as we have seen that in the last months the price of gold and silver is growing up and because of that so many people are interested in buying the coins.?

The coin sets showing the peregrine falcon have been sold out at the Bank, and from many of the numismatic stores too: ?Yes, we do have it, and well, it?s already sold out actually, so it?s impossible to buy it in retail now. We sold all the sets last September I would say,? Zbigniew Warakowski says.

For people wanting to get hold of the much-coveted coin should get onto the Polish internet auction sites right away. Another silver coin with an amber inset issued by the National Bank of Poland in 2001, is now worth up to three thousand zlotys. Will the peregrine falcon also soar in price?

Source: Polskie Radio (
Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: chrisild on January 20, 2008, 06:57:01 PM
Later this year, things may even get worse. ;D I just had a look at the issue plan for 2008 and it seems that in November they will issue some coins dedicated to "400. rocznica polskiego osadnictwa w Ameryce P?łnocnej". Don't understand Polish but it means something like "400 years Polish settlers in America". In addition to the 100 zl gold coin and the 10 zl silver/glass (!) piece, there will probably be a 2 zl base metal coin. These coins may also be interesting for collectors in some non-Polish country across the Pond ...

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: Figleaf on January 20, 2008, 07:09:50 PM
Unfortunately, those 14 issues are only the pseudo coins. Last year, there were an additional 11 circulation issues. They can't start using the euro and have only one 2 euro commem a year! They'd die! The mint building would topple over! The mintmaster would be tarred and feathered!


Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: chrisild on January 20, 2008, 10:20:12 PM
Don't think that the 2 zl coins are actually circulation pieces. The "regular" coins that you come across are bimetallic, diameter 21.5 mm, weight 5.21 g. Those 2 zl commems are Nordic Gold coins, diameter 27 mm, weight 8.15 g - and as far as I know, the latter hardly show up in circulation.

Guess it will quite a few more years before Poland becomes a euro country, but the poor mintmaster can be saved: All the mint has to do is issue one ?2 commem per year ... plus a dozen or so base metal collector coins, face value 1.50 or 3.00 or so. Voil?. ;D

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: zarazek on March 03, 2008, 01:56:49 AM
The 2 złoty monometallic coins can be found in cirulation, but this doesn't happen very often.
Once Poland adopts the euro (the new government's goal is 2012), the ECB will have to adjust the rules to the new reality and let Poland issue more than just one commemorative coin per year, otherwise people will set up 'mints' at home :D
Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: chrisild on March 03, 2008, 10:37:42 AM
Would be an interesting concept, hehe. The good news is that Poland could continue issuing dozens of coins per year: In Euroland there are the circulation coins (1 cent-2 euro) and the commemorative coins (€2), all of which are legal tender everywhere in the currency union. But in addition to those, each euro country may also issue collector coins. Those are regional money only (e.g. a Polish euro collector coin would be legal tender in Poland only), and the face value plus a few other criteria have to be different from circulation coins.

France for example issues 1 1/2 euro coins, Portugal makes 2 1/2 euro coins and Slovenia issues a €3 coin this year, others have €5, €8 or €12 pieces. Some of them are issued at face value, none of them actually circulate to a noticeable extent. Plenty of opportunity for future collector coins, without having to resort to, errm, private coins. ;D

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: Figleaf on March 04, 2008, 10:43:29 PM
Well, Christian, Poland spouts forth an amount of coin types each year that's hard to imagine. They can, as you have said, continue to do so under EU rules, but the pain is in the 2 zloty pieces, of which it produces about one new type a month on average. As you know, most EU countries show an amount of relative restraint in this area that would seem not even frustrating, but castrating to the Warsaw mint. I'm agreeing with F.i.L on this (but fat chance the EU will amend the rules).

As a collector of Polish circulating coins, I'd welcome the restraint, actually.

Title: Re: The Polish Falcon Craze
Post by: chrisild on March 04, 2008, 11:46:31 PM
Yes, I have a couple of the 2 zl commems too. But I just buy them when/if I find the design or theme interesting, such as the History of the Zloty series or the Enigma coin. The point I was trying to make is, even though the euro collector coins are usually silver or gold pieces, they may as well be base metal coins - copper-nickel, aluminum bronze, you name it. :)

Sure the current rules about "euroland-wide" issues are pretty strict. But what could keep the Polish Mint from making, say, 1 1/2 euro coins (Nordic Gold or some other base metal) and issuing them at face? They would, like the current Nordic Gold pieces, be collectible and would, like the current Nordic Gold pieces, hardly ever occur in circulation. Problem solved. ;D