This coin depicts the famed 100 Ducat Coin of Sigismund III Vasa and illustrates the history of Polish coinage in the first half of the 17th Century.
Under the bust, the coin bears the medallier's initials "SA" and the date "1621". Along the periphery is an inscription "E SIGISMVNDV S.III. D.G.POLONI. ET. SWECIAE. REXE." (meaning "Sigismund III, By the Grace of God, King of Poland and Sweden").
On the Reverse of this 100 Ducat Gold Coin is depicted beneath a crown, a nine-field shield with the Coat of Arms of Poland and Lithuania, as well as Sweden and Gotland, with the Vasa crest in the middle.
On both sides of the shield are the initials of the Mint-master of the Bydgoszcz mint, Jacob Jacobson van Emden: "JJ" on the left and "VE" on the right.
Above the crown are the numerals representing the year of issue "16" and "21". Along the periphery is a continuation of the King's title "EMADNVS.DVX.LITVAN:RVSS:-PRVSS:MAS:SAM:
LIVON:ZC:E" (MEANING "Magnus Dux Lituaniae, Russiae, Prussiae, Masoviae, Samogitiae, Livoniae etc - standing for "Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia etc.").
This 100 Ducat coin is the most impressive Polish coin minted. It originally measured almost 70 mm in diameter and weighted 348.3 grams of Gold. The mintage of these coins was done primarily to serve as gifts for visiting dignitaries and distinguished guests.
A few specimens/pieces of full weight have survived presently, however, some of the surviving Gold coins are much lighter weighing to the equivalent of 90, 60 or 30 Ducats and even made of Silver equivalent to 10 or even 3.5 Thalers.
Interestingly, all the 100 Ducat coins - Gold and Silver - were minted with a single pair of dies.
The present Commemorative issue depicting the 100 Ducat Coin:
The Reverse of the modern 20 Zlotych coin made by the Mint of Poland is a recreation of King Sigismund III Vasa's bust from the obverse of the original 100 Ducat Gold coin and bears the inscription - "100 DIKATOW ZYGMUNTA III (meaning "100 Ducats of Sigismund III Vasa").
The Obverse of the modern 20 Zlotych coin issued under the present Series depicts the Reverse of the original historic 100 Ducat Gold Coin and in line with tradition, presents the image of the Polish insignia/emblem, with the eagle and the name of the State, the face value and the year of issue along with the denomination "20 Zlotych".
The peripheral inscription is similar to the original 100 Ducat Coin and reads "EMADNVS.DVX. LITVAN: RVSS:- PRVSS:MAS:SAM:LIVON:ZC:E" (MEANING "Magnus Dux Lituaniae, Russiae, Prussiae, Masoviae, Samogitiae, Livoniae etc - standing for "Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia etc.").
The specifications of 20 Zlotych Commemorative coin:
Denomination: 20 Zlotych; Metallic Composition: .925 Silver; Weight: 28.2 Grams; Diameter/Size: 38.6 mm; Coin Quality: Proof with selective Gold plating; Maximum Mintage: 18,000 pieces; Year of issue: 2017; General Remarks: The coin is encased in a protective capsule and placed in a custom-made presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.
2) Honouring Marie Curie: A 20 Zloty Banknote issued by Norodowy Bank Polski in 2011 on the 100th Anniversary of her winning the Nbel Prize for Chemistry in 1911
3) Honouring Frederic Francois Chopin on his 200th Birth Anniversary with the issue of a 20 Zloty Banknote by Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland) in 2010