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Poland 2007 History of the Zloty - Winged Victory Goddess Nike 10 Zlotych Silver Proof

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Nike, winged goddess of victory, graces this beautiful and historic issue!

NIKE_CHARIOTThe 2007 entry in the History of the Zloty (Dzieje Zlotego) program commemorates the silver 5 Zlotych coin of 1928, easily one of the most striking coins ever minted by Poland. The Greek goddess Nike is depicted bare-breasted and with her gown flowing, half striding, half gliding, her feet barely touching the ground. Her one arm points upward, indicating triumph, while her other points directly ahead, indicating forward progress. It is rendered in a simple and elegant art deco style that is very much of its era.

No official reason for the 1928 coin or what it commemorated was given at the time of its release, though many believe it was authorized and issued by President and Marshal Jozef Pilsudski to celebrate his successful 1926 coup d'etat. The original issues feature the Latin edge inscription SALVS REIPVBLICAE SVPREMA LEX ("the good of the Republic is the supreme law") that was very much in keeping with Pilsudski's philosophies and actions. In addition, Nike's gestures indicating both victory and the way forward into the future are a perfect representation of what Pilsudski believed he was accomplishing for his nation.

Nike, Goddess of Victory
NIKE_LOUVREIn Greek mythology, Nike (literally, "Victory") was a goddess who personified triumph. She was a daughter of the Titan Pallas (Warrior) and the goddess Styx (Hatred), and the sister of Cratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Rivalry). Nike and her siblings were all attendants of Zeus. According to legend, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the coming Titan War. Nike assumed the role of the gods' personal charioteer, a role often portrayed in classical art. Her Roman counterpart is Victoria.

The most famous representation of Nike is the original classical statue "The Victory of Samothrace", now in the Louvre. Although she is missing her head and arms, the naturalistic and realistic rendering of the sculpture have led it to be considered one of the greatest masterpieces ever executed.

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Nike is always pictured with wings, which allegorically indicate the fleeting nature of victory. She is frequently, though not always, depicted with a wreath of laurel with which to crown the victor. In addition, she often drives a chariot and blows a horn of victory. Although Nike is often interpreted as being an angel, this is a mistake. Despite similarities of garb and wings, Nike predates Christian angel iconography by at least five hundred years. She is not an angel, but rather a goddess.

The silver 5 Zlotych Nike coins are significant to collectors for several reasons. First, many believe that the design was inspired by Adolph Weinman's Walking Liberty design, first used on the U.S. 1916 silver half dollar. What's more, although the 1928 Nike issue is relatively common, the three subsequent years that were minted (1930, 1931 & 1932) are among the rarest of all 20th century Polish coins.

NIKE_COIN_OBVERSEThe History of the Zloty Program
As Poland joined the European Union on May 1, 2004, the Mint of Poland began to contemplate the inevitable transition from Zloty to Euro currency. In May 2006 Poland set its target date for the introduction of the Euro to January 1, 2011, pending approval of the European Central Bank. In the meantime the Mint of Poland is remembering its domestic denomination, the Zloty! Once per year two coins (a 2 Zl and a 10 Zl) will be released that recall the aesthetic beauty of the native Polish coins. The coins in the History of the Zloty program are interesting for several different reasons. Each reproduces a classic Polish coin design meticulously and faithfully. Also, each features the motif of an older coin on a newer coin. This "coin on coin" theme constitutes a very popular subject matter for coin collectors. Finally, each of the coins in this series is handsomely engraved and artistically pleasing. Celebrate the legacy of Polish money with the History of the Zloty program!

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NIKE_STATUEObverse
An exact reproduction of the obverse of the 1928 silver 5 Zlotych coin features a bare-breasted Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, facing right and walking forward. One arm points upward, indicating victory or dominance (Latin excelsior, "higher"), while the other indicates the way forward. An art deco style sheaf of wheat and the legend DZIEJE ZLOTEGO (HISTORY OF THE ZLOTY) surround this coin-on-coin design.

Reverse
A second view of Nike, goddess of victory, carrying a bundle of wheat stalks. Also included is an exact reproduction of the reverse of the 5 Zlotych silver coin of 1928. By law, the reverse of every Polish coin includes the crowned white eagle, the national emblem of Poland, with the year of issue, the denomination and the legend RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (REPUBLIC OF POLAND).

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Specifications
Country Poland
Year of Issue 2007
Issuing Authority National Bank of Poland
   
Face Value 10 Zl
Weight 14.14 g
Diameter 32 mm
Mintage Limit 52,000
   
Finish Proof
Composition .925 Fine (Sterling) Silver
Edge Plain
Packaging Encapsulated

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