Gold coin marks beatification of John Paul II

March 30, 2011

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WARSAW, Poland—Poland is issuing gold and silver collector coins to mark the beatification of its native son, the late Pope John Paul II.

The most precious are 500 gold coins worth 1,000 zlotys ($350) each bearing Poland's state emblem of an eagle on the face and a portrait of the pope on the reverse. The collection also includes gold coins worth 100 zlotys ($35) and 25 zlotys ($8.75), as well as a silver 20 zloty ($7) coin, each bearing the pope's image.

They were presented Wednesday at a state mint and will be available in April.

John Paul II was born Karol Wojtyla in Poland and died at the Vatican in 2005. His successor Benedict XVI is to announce him blessed on May 1 during a Mass at St. Peter's Square.