Paper Money

Poland to release a new commemorative 20-zloty note

The National Bank of Poland will release a legal tender 20-zloty commemorative bank note honoring its late president Lech Kaczynski on Nov. 9.

Images courtesy of the National Bank of Poland.

The National Bank of Poland will release a legal tender 20-zloty commemorative bank note honoring its late president Lech Kaczynski on Nov. 9.

He was the identical twin brother of Jarosław Kaczynski, who is currently serving as leader of the right-wing Law and Justice party.

The information was first reported by Notes from Poland, an English-language website devoted to news from the country.

The face of the note has a large facing bust of Lech Kaczynski, president of Poland from 2005 until his 2010 death in a controversial plane crash on an attempted landing in the Russian city of Smolensk. To his left is a reproduction of his handwritten words “Being a Pole has value” (“Warto byc Polakiem”).

An image of the back was not made available. It will include an image of the Warsaw Rising Museum, which was created with the support of Kaczynski when he was mayor of Warsaw, and the cranes of the Gdansk Shipyard that was home to Solidarity, the anti-communist movement in which Kaczynski was a leading figure.

The president of the national bank, Adam Glapinski, said, “By issuing this bank note, which is especially important for millions of Poles, but also for me personally, we want to pay tribute to a great man, Lech Kaczynski, who confirmed with his whole life: being a Pole has value.”

Dariusz Jasek, numismatist and author from Krakow, Poland, commented on the design. “It seems that the subsequent NBP collector bank notes will continue the trend from 2020; they will contain significantly more elements of composition and symbolism (the latter seems to be even overloaded on the Lech Kaczynski note), and the colors will be more and more different from the colors of Polish circulation bank notes.”

A total of 80,000 pieces will be printed, and interest is already so high that they are being offered on internet websites for as much as 280 zlotych ($71 U.S.; 20 zlotych is about $5). Jasek opined, “The interest in this issue is surprisingly high, taking into account the high maximum number of copies printed, and with the prices of pre-ordered copies currently reaching hundreds of zlotys, I am afraid that such a high print run may result in a repetition of the decline in value. This was the case with the 2008 20 zlotych NBP collector coin, of which 107,000 copies were minted, compared to 58 thousand a year earlier.”

The new issue is the 13th Polish commemorative bank note since the first one in 2006, on the anniversary of Karol Wojtyła’s election to the papacy. Most of the recent issues had print runs of 55,000 to 60,000.

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