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The Warsaw Voice » Other » June 17, 2009
On the town
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Special Wałęsa Coins Issued
June 17, 2009   
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Gdańsk, the cradle of the Solidarity trade union movement, issued 350,000 special coins June 4 to mark 20 years since the first partially free elections in postwar Poland, an event that heralded the collapse of the communist system.

The coins, known as thalers of Gdańsk, were issued as brass four-thaler coins and seven-thaler coins made of two metals. They will be accepted until the end of September in selected stores and service outlets in Gdańsk. They can be used as normal currency and the exchange rate to the Polish zloty is one to one. The souvenir coins were minted by Mennica Polska (Polish Mint), which has also prepared limited editions of collector's coins, including 4,500 silver thaler coins and 450 golden ones.

All the coins have "It all started in Gdańsk" embossed on them and bear an image of former Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa and the Solidarity logo. The face side shows the Gdańsk coat of arms and a panorama of the city. The reverse has an image of a young Wałęsa carried aloft by a crowd.

The coins were designed by artists Dobrochna Surajewska and Robert Kotowicz.

This is the second issue of thalers in Gdańsk. The first issue, with different denominations, came out last year to commemorate the 25 years since Wałęsa received the Peace Nobel Prize.

M.M.

For more about the thaler go to www.talargdanski.pl
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