New York. 80 ducats of Sigismund III Vasa were auctioned for 900 thousand. hole.

80 ducats with the image of King Sigismund III Vasa were minted at the mint in Bydgoszcz in 1621. The coin was minted in honor of the Battle of Khotyn, which was victorious for the Commonwealth, which took place in September and October 1621.

An impressive amount

At the end of October, the New York auction house, Stack’s Bowers Galleries, announced that it would put the coin up for auction. It was to accompany the International Numismatic Convention.

– It is expected that there will be a person who will appreciate not only the artistic value of this coin, because it has been made exceptionally beautifully with an amazing attention to detail, it was actually made by Samuel Ammon, an absolute master of the art of medals. However, there is also the value of gold, although it is the least valuable component of this huge sum, but above all its cultural value – said Krzysztof Jarzęcki from the Numismatics Studio at the District Museum in Bydgoszcz.

According to Stack’s Bowers, the estimated highest amount for which the coin was expected to be auctioned was $ 600,000. The developer price was 180,000. Ultimately, 80 ducats of Sigismund III Vasa were sold for USD 900,000, which corresponds to the amount of PLN 3.5 million.

– The coin has reached a completely magnificent, impressive price. It was estimated that it would be sold for $ 300-600 thousand. I was hoping it could reach $ 600,000, which was an optimistic estimate. The auctioned price is impressive. In 2018, the same auction house sold a studukatówka from the Bydgoszcz Mint for USD 1.8 million. The exhibitor had to expect to achieve a high price for an 80-ducatowka, issuing it for a “symbolic” 180 thousand dollars, ie for 10 percent of the more valuable coin auctioned three years ago, emphasized Krzysztof Jarzęcki after the end of the auction.

80 ducats of Sigismund III Vasa

The coin is minted in gold. It weighs just over 282 grams and its diameter is 69 mm. It is honey-golden in color, with iridescent orange shades on the edges. The coin shows slight signs of wear, but this does not affect its value or, as the auction house points out, its “general beauty”.

The obverse of the coin features the image of King Sigismund III Vasa, surrounded by an inscription: SIGISMVNDVS III DG POLONIÆ ET SVECIÆ REX (King Sigismund III of God’s Grace King of Poland and Sweden). On the reverse, there is the coat of arms of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth surrounded by the Order of the Golden Fleece with the inscription MAGNVS DVX LITVAN RVSS PRVSS MAS SAM LIVON ZC (Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Mazovia, Samogitia, Livonia).

King Zygmunt III Waza

The creator of the coin was an artist and coin master, Samuel Amman. Before he came to Bydgoszcz, he honed his skills in Gdańsk. He is a well-known and valued figure among collectors of antique coins.

80-ducat coins, like 100-ducat coins, were minted in the same mint in Bydgoszcz. The same stamps were used for them, so that both numismatic items did not differ in appearance. The 80-ducat coin, however, was 70 grams lighter. Both were very valuable coins and therefore rare. Most likely, they were never intended for a wider circulation. Rather, they performed the function of “investing capital” for the richest inhabitants of the Republic of Poland.

The coin, which was finally auctioned off at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries, was probably sent to the United States together with the Polish novelist Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz (1758-1841), who in 1796, after being released from the Russian prison, where he was sent to the Kościuszko Uprising for participation in the Kościuszko Uprising, went to USA (in 1807 he returned to Poland).

The reign of Sigismund III Vasa is considered the most lush period in the history of Polish money; then there was a rapid development of the monetary system. Especially in the early period of Sigismund III’s tenure, Polish coins presented a very high value. The good condition of the Polish monetary system was possible also thanks to the successful reforms of King Stefan Batory.

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