The Silver Ducat has been part of the heritage of the Netherlands Mint for 350 years.
But with the 2020 issue, it takes on an appearance unlike any of its predecessors.
Although the requisite standing armored knight is on the obverse as required by the law, on each of the issues in the new series the knight will be seen standing in front of one of the nation’s historic castles.
The knight is Field Marshall Godard van Reede (1644-1703), who in the United Kingdom is better known as Godert de Ginkel, 1st Earl of Athlone. He served as Governor of Utrecht. In 1688 he accompanied William, Prince of Orange on his expedition to England where he claimed the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland as William III.
After Reede’s return in 1693, he became commander in chief of the Army of Flanders and in 1702 he became the first Field Marshal of the Dutch States Army. He will be seen standing in front of each castle with a different provincial shield at his feet.
The first coin in the new series features De Haar Castle in the province of Utrecht. It is the largest and one of the most opulent castles in The Netherlands, once the private residence of the Van Zuylen family, whose descendants still stay there yearly.
It has also hosted the likes of Coco Chanel and Roger Moore. The legend reads MO.NO.ARG.REG.BELGII. TRAJ.. the Latin abbreviation for “Moneta Nova Argenta Regni”: New Silver coin of the Kingdom. “BELGII” is the Latin name for The Netherlands, and therefore does not (only) translate as Belgium. “TRAJ” is short for Traiectum, Latin for the province of Utrecht.
The second issue shows North Brabant’s Heeswijk Castle, one with a turbulent history going back to 1080. It is in a wooded area near the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It started out as a wooden stronghold, became an impressive fort, and eventually became a dignified country seat. It was regularly besieged, damaged, restored, and remodeled. The 17th century, the century of the Eighty Years’ War in the Netherlands, was one of the most illustrious periods in the castle’s history.
In the year 1672, known as the Rampjaar (“disaster year”) in Dutch history, it was at Heeswijk Castle that the French king Louis XIV and English envoys signed the plan to divide the conquered Netherlands. In the 19th century, the estate and castle were bought by Baron Van den Bogaerde van Terbrugge. He and his sons transformed it into a luxurious and romantic palace and filled it with an extensive collection of art and antiques. After the death of the last baron, the castle was turned into a museum.
The silver ducat’s legend is the same as on the Utrecht coin except that “BRAB.SEP”, standing for the province of North-Brabant, replaces “TRAJ”.
The reverse common to all coins in the series is the national coat of arms of The Netherlands with the royal crown flanked by the date and the inscription CONCORDIA RES PARVAE CRESCUNT, “Unity Makes Strength”, the caduceus mark of the Royal Dutch Mint and the mintmaster’s privy mark.
The 40-millimeter Proof silver ducats are made of the traditional .873 fine silver, weigh 25 grams, and are limited to 2,000 pieces each. They are $69.95 each and include a box and certificate.
For more information on these coins, or to order, visit www.coin-currency.com or contact the Coin & Currency Institute, P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. Toll-Free: 1-800-421-1866. Fax: 802-536-4787. E-mail: [email protected]. Add $5.75 per order for shipping and handling. Vermont residents should add 6% sales tax.