5 ducats 1614, Danzig, Sigismund III

5 ducats 1614, Danzig, Sigismund III

5 ducats 1614, Danzig, Sigismund III

Period: Baroque

Country: Poland

Ruler: Sigismund III

Denomination: 5 Ducats

Mint: Danzig

Weight:17,20 g

Auction house: Muizon Rieunier

Date: 19 April 2017

Starting price: 30.000 euros

Historical context

Sigismund III introduced the idea of creating commemorative coins in Poland; today we would call them “medals”. These coins were minted in very low quantities and were given to the King, to magistrates or to people of special distinction. We described similar cases in Germany and in Spain. These coins were designed by the best engravers and, in many cases, their style is much more advanced than the style of common coins. This is the case of the 5 and 10 ducats minted in Danzig, in which the bust of Sigismund III depicted is considered a masterpiece by the engraver Samuel Ammon.

It is also noteworthy that these coins were seen as items to be shown off. For this reason, many of them were used for jewelry or displayed in a place where it needed to be cleaned once and again. Hence, it is not surprising that many of these coins ended up heavily damaged.


The coin has a “slight trace of an old mount”. This type of damage dramatically reduces the price of the coin and makes it much more difficult to be sold. Hence, I highly doubt that this coin will be a good investment in the long term. I would never recommend a high-level coin collector to buy a coin that is, or used to be, mounted. Especially if this coin costs more than 30.000 euros, as it is the case.

Description from the seller

SIGISMOND III (1587-1632)
5 ducats or. 1614. Dantzig. 17,20 g.
Son buste couronné, drapé et cuirassé à droite. Il porte une large fraise et le collier de la toison d’or. La date en caractères minuscules apparaît au-dessus de la couronne. On distingue S.A. sous le drapé (Samuel Ammon) directeur de la monnaie.
R/ Écusson de la ville soutenu par deux lions sous des palmes et des branches de laurier. En-dessous, date inscrite et S.A.
Fr. 6. HC. 2-1309.
Très légère trace de monture ancienne.
Extrêmement rare. Monnaie spectaculaire. Très bel exemplaire.
Sous le règne de Sigismond III, la mode s’introduisit à Dantzig de frapper des pièces dites « donatives », médailles d’or à valeur monétaire destinées à être offertes par les magistrats soit au Roi, soit à des personnages de distinction à l’occasion d’évènements politiques. Les gravures de 1614 sont d’une qualité particulièrement remarquable.
(Cf. Engel et Serrure. Traité de numismatique. Paris. 1897).



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