On 14th November 2017, the Bank of Latvia issued 2 euro commemorative coins dedicated to Kuzeme and Latgale. These coins, featuring the coats of arms of Kurzeme and Latgale, continue the series of 2 euro commemorative coins dedicated to Latvia’s cultural and historical regions. It is one of the Bank’s contributions to the country’s centenary. A 2 euro commemorative coin with the coat of arms of Vidzeme was issued, a year ago. In the country’s centenary year, a coin dedicated to Zemgale will conclude the series of coins.
The Latvian Bank carries on the tradition of minting circulation coins of special design in Latvia. Every year, each euro area country has the right to issue two euro circulation coins of special design or commemorative coins as well as one more commemorative coin within a joint program of several euro area countries.
The Euro commemorative coins are legal tender in the Republic of Latvia and other euro area countries. The commemorative coins with the coats of arms of Latvia’s cultural and historical regions will travel to Europe and reveal the story of Latvia.
Artist Laimonis Senbergs, created the graphic designs for the national side of the new commemorative coins, but the plaster models are by Janis Strupulis. Laimonis Š?nbergs is the Deputy Chairman of the Coin Design Commission of the bank and the creator of the graphic design of 19 collector coins. Janis Strupulis has made the graphic design of two coins and plaster models of several dozens of Latvian collector and circulation coins. The nominal value of the European side of the euro commemorative coins and other 2 euro circulation coins is the same.
The national side of the commemorative coins issued by the bank of Latvia features the inscription “LATVIJA”, and the edge of the coin, like all other 2 euro circulation coins of the Republic of Latvia, features the inscription “DIEVS * SV?T? * LATVIJU *”. The new 2 euro coins have been minted by Staatliche Münze Baden-Württemberg (Germany).
The cultural and historical regions of the division of Latvia is stipulated by Article 3 of Satversme. As a mark of contribution to Latvia’s centenary, the Latvijas Banka will begin issuing four euro commemorative coins, featuring the coats of arms by 2018. The symbols featured in the coats of arms are related to historical developments in the present day territory of Latvia.
In 2012, a special law was passed to protect the coats of arms as national symbols. A silver elk (golden on Kettler’s coat of arms) on a blue background, featured on the coat of arms of Zemgale, and a red lion on a silver background, turned in the opposite direction and depicted on the coat of arms of Kurzeme, have been carried over from Gotthard Kettler’s coat of arms.
He was the first Duke of Kurzeme and Zemgale. Meanwhile, a silver griffin on a red background with a sword in its right paw, without a gold crown is featured in the coat of arms of the Duchy of Pardaugava and can also be seen on the coat of arms of Vidzeme (on a red background) and on that of Latgale.Images of the coats of arms of Latvia’s cultural and historical regions have not been used in coin design so far.
The new commemorative coins will be circulated in the same way as any other circulation coins. On November 14, the coins will be available for exchange at the Cashier’s Offices of the Bank of Latvia in Riga and Liep?ja. The mintage of each coin is 0.5 million pieces. The bank’s experience shows that this quantity is sufficient to allow all interested persons to exchange the coins over a period of at least several weeks. Seven thousand coins of each type of Brilliant Uncirculated quality in a special souvenir packing will also be on sale. The price of the coin at the Cashier’s Offices is 7.30 euro.