World Coins

Polish military hero who helped American independence on new medal

Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko was a Polish military engineer and a military leader who became a national hero in Poland, Belarus, and the United States.

The Mint of Poland in recent weeks issued a Proof .999 fine silver medal celebrating the legacy of the freedom fighter.

President Thomas Jefferson called him “As pure a son of liberty as I have ever known.” Napoleon Bonaparte called him “the hero of the North”

Kosciuszko is one of the most renowned strategists in Polish history, and was awarded the highest Polish national honor, the Order of the White Eagle. In the United States he was admitted to the Society of the Cincinnati, one of three foreigners in its history. 

Shortly after the Declaration of Independence was ratified, Kosciuszko moved to North America and joined in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army. His accomplishments include building noteworthy fortifications at West Point, N.Y., and in 1783, in recognition of his services, the Continental Congress promoted him to brigadier general.

The new medal was issued to celebrate the 220th anniversary of an insurrection in Poland led by Kosciuszko, according to the Mint of Poland. 

The obverse of the medal shows the flag used by the scythe-bearing peasants who fought in the uprising Kosciuszko led, as well as an assemblage of scythes. The legend on the flag translates to “feed and defend.”

Kosciuszko appears in a colorful digital printing on the reverse, based on an 1833 engraving. 

Kosciuszko wears both of the aforementioned military honors in this design. His signature is replicated, and an inscription recalling his role in the uprising and its dates also appear.

The medal weighs 17.5 grams, measures 38.61 millimeters in diameter, and has a mintage limit of 500 pieces.

No distributor information for the Mint of Poland was available at publication time. Collectors interested in obtaining the medal should email the Mint of Poland's sales department.

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