Topics of coins

History of Polish Coin – The Gdansk Złoty of Augustus III)

The Saxon era is a period marking the fall of the Polish coin. Practically speaking, coins were not struck in the Commonwealth at that time. As early as in 1685 the Sejm passed a resolution to close the mints. However, this does not mean that there are no coins bearing the names and titles of both kings of the Saxon dynasty – Augustus II the Strong (1697– 1733) and his son, Augustus III (1733–1763). Such coins were issued by these rulers, but in the territory of Saxony. Saxon coins with Polish coats of arms were also struck there. One should also recall the Polish coins that were falsified by the King of Prussia, Frederick II, and the Lithuanian szóstaks (six-grosz) produced in the years 1706–1707 in Moscow.

The ban on minting operations in the Commonwealth did not cover Royal Prussia. Among the coins of Augustus III struck there, we are interested in the beautifully made Gdansk złoty (gulden) made at Prussian standard with the denomination of 30 grosz of 1762. On the obverse it has the crowned bust of the king facing to the right, with the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck. Along the rim, the legend: D[ei] G[ratia] AVGVST[us] III R[ex] POL[oniarum] M[agnus] D[ux] L[ithuaniae] R[ussiae] P[russiae] D[ux] S[axoniae] & EL[ector], in other words, By the grace of God Augustus III, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Duke of Saxony and Prince-Elector. On the reverse was the great coat of arms of Gdansk (an oval shield held by two lions). Above it, the face value: 30 GR[osz] and a wreath. Below the coat of arms, the initials of the Gdansk master of the mint Rudolf Ernest Oeckermann: R – E – OE and the date 1762. Along the rim, the legend: MON[eta] ARGENT[ea] CIVIT[atis] GEDANENS[is], in other words: Silver coin of the city of Gdansk.

The main element on the obverse of the new commemorative coin is the reverse of the Gdansk złoty of 1762 described above, with the coat of arms of the city. Next to it is a circular imprint with the image of the Eagle established as the state emblem of the Republic of Poland, an inscription: Rzeczpospolita Polska (Republic of Poland), the year of issue: 2020 and the face value: 20 ZŁ. In the background can be seen a pattern from the coronation robe of Augustus III, which complements the decorations of the Gdansk coat of arms. The obverse of the Gdansk złoty, with the portrait of the king, is located on the reverse of the coin. The background is a laser underprint of a fragment of the plan of Warsaw of 1762. It is partly covered by the legend: ZŁOTÓWKA GDAŃSKA AUGUSTA III.

Stanisław Suchodolski