World Coins

Dutch gold ducat has new design for 2018

The Royal Dutch Mint has updated the design for the annual gold ducat coins for 2018, which begins a four-year series noting past areas of influence for the coin.

Image courtesy of the Royal Dutch Mint.

A classic gold coin from the Netherlands has a new look.

The Dutch gold ducat (pronounced “duck it”) was first issued in 1586 and has always had the same basic obverse design of a standing knight, accompanied by an ornate inscribed tablet on the reverse. The only variations reflect artistic liberties taken by mint engravers. 

The Dutch gold ducat is the only coin struck in six consecutive centuries.

Though it has not been issued annually, and the designs have changed slightly, it wins the award for longevity. The dates on the Dutch gold ducats have changed, distinguishing it further from a long-lived competitor, the Maria Theresa taler, which has retained the date 1780 for more than two centuries.

In 1985 the Netherlands government granted the Dutch Mint authority to mint the ducat, and the ducat has been issued almost every year since, missing 1987 and 1988.

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The modern ducat and double ducat coins are produced as collector coins, minted in Proof with frosted relief and a mirrored background.

The 2018 issues are offering a new interpretation based on the design of the engraver Johan Willem Marmé, who was the die cutter at the Utrecht Mint from 1763 to 1795. Marmé’s present-day successors in Utrecht have taken his original design, characterized by a distinct helmet and accurately positioned and detailed buttons on the knight’s outfit, and adapted it to the requirements of 21st century minting.

The 2018 issue is also the first of four annual issues to focus on the ducat’s international use over four centuries. The reverses will use the points of the compass as a guide to explore the trade routes in which the gold ducats played an important role. 

On the 2018 coin’s reverse, the Baltics, where the grain trade in particular led to enormous profits for Dutch traders, is symbolized by a group of four corn ears and the letter “N” at the top, pointing north. The ensuing years will direct attention to the East in 2019, South in 2020, and West in 2021. The scrollwork around the tablet is embellished this year with decorative acanthus leaves, while shells mark the other compass points.

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The double ducat’s obverse design includes a second beaded ring, forcing the other design elements to be a little smaller than on the ducat. 

Both 2018 coins, to be struck as Proof .983 fine gold coins, are offered by reservation only, through June 30. The mintage limit will be restricted by the mint to the number of orders received. In 2017 the issued mintages were 2,501 gold ducats and 836 double ducats.

The ducat weighs 3.494 grams and measures 21 millimeters in diameter. The double ducat weighs 6.988 grams and measures 26 millimeters in diameter.

Each ducat is presented in a luxury wooden case with numbered certificate of authenticity.

Distributor Coin & Currency Institute is accepting pre-orders through June 30, and notes that delivery is expected in July or August. 

The pre-issue price for the ducat is $269.75, and for the double ducat, $469.75. Payments will not be charged until the coins are shipped. 

To pre-order either coin, visit the distributor website.

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