By Coin & Currency Institute ……
An unintentional but serious error has been discovered on the just-issued 2021 Single Gold Ducat of the Netherlands. The coin has the reverse of the 2020 issue instead of that meant to be used in 2021. (The Double Gold Ducat has the correct reverse.)
It now appears that the Royal Dutch Mint made a production error by (re-)using the reverse die of the 2020 ducat. As a result, the gold bar on the reverse faces south instead of the placard on the west. To our knowledge, these were the only coins shipped by the mint thus far.
The Royal Dutch Mint will now correctly mint the entire edition of 895 copies and customers who have ordered the coin will have the opportunity to exchange the (possibly rare) error ducat free of charge, or keep the error coin and also order the correct one.
Final Coin in the Series
The 2021 issues are the last in a four-year series that focuses on the international use of the ducats over four centuries.
They use the points of the compass as a guide to explore the trade routes in which the Gold Ducats played an important role. The 2018 coin pointed north to the Baltics, where the grain trade, in particular, led to enormous profits for Dutch traders. The journey in 2019 was east to Asia, where in addition to the Dutch trading outpost of Batavia (Indonesia), the Dutch East India Company (VOC) founded many different trading posts in several countries. To make trade easier, the company minted its own coins, including the Gold Ducats. The 2020 issues continued south, towards Africa, where many gold sources were discovered and where pirates and privateers interrupted many an East India Trading Company journey – to the formers’ profit and the company’s loss.
This year’s issue points west and marks an important anniversary. On June 3, 1621, the Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie (GWC), or Dutch West India Company, was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the Dutch West Indies by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It could operate in West Africa (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope) and the Americas, including the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. It also had a role in the short-lived colony in North America, then called New Netherland, that extended from Maryland to Massachussetts and inlcuded what is now New York City. The correct reverse of the 2021 coins are adorned with acanthus leaves, shells, the letter “W,” and an ornate 16th-century “Plakaat”, or placard, the act that codified the ducats as legal tender in the Dutch Republic.
The coins are made of the long-time Dutch ducat standard of .983 fine gold. The single Gold Ducat weighs 3.494 grams and is 21 mm in diameter; the 26 mm Double Gold Ducat weighs 6.988 grams. Both are in wood cases with numbered certificates.
Both are minted only in Proof quality.