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Published: 19.11.2020

On Tuesday, 24 November, Latvijas Banka is issuing a unique collector coin "Ventastega", dedicated to the fossil remains of Ventastega curonica, a Devonian period animal, one of the most important discoveries in geology and palaeontology.

For the attention of the media and interested parties!

The purchase of coins will be possible only on the website e-monetas.lv from 12.00 (noon) on 24 November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new numismatic products will not be available at the Cashier's Office of Latvijas Banka. It will be possible to receive the coins purchased on the website e-monetas.lv either by post or to pick them up at the Cashier's Office of Latvijas Banka. Should you choose to pick them up at Latvijas Banka, please note that wearing a face mask covering your mouth and nose is mandatory during your visit at the entrance hall and Cashier's Office of Latvijas Banka. For the convenience of customers and to reduce the COVID-19-related risks, the time for picking up the coins purchased on the website e-monetas.lv has been extended to 20 business days.

Please note that Should the epidemiological situation worsen, the procedure of collecting/delivery of the purchased numismatic products may be subject to change. In such a case, customers will be notified. In view of the uncertain situation, for your own safety we would advise you to consider and, to the extent possible, choose delivery by post.

The silver collector coin of Latvijas Banka is dedicated to an original and outstanding evidence of Latvian history providing an opportunity to learn about and understand the course of evolution, thus making the finding of Latvia's scientists particularly important globally.

The fossil remains of Ventastega curonica were found at rock exposures in the Venta River basin near Skrunda in Kurzeme. The name of the species bears reference to the Venta and Kurzeme, and by this name this animal is recognised among scientists and prehistory enthusiasts all over the world. Ventastega was a four-legged predator, with its length slightly over one metre; it lived approximately 365 million years ago. At that time, the territory of the present-day Latvia was located some degrees to the South from the equator, at the south-eastern edge of the palaeocontinent of Euramerica.

Rocks and the fossils of animals and plants preserved in them are the only evidence from so ancient times. Just a few findings of Devonian tetrapod fossils are known today. Therefore, the findings of Latvian ventastega and the related lobe-finned fish are of considerable scientific importance in learning about the evolution of vertebrates.

This coin is special as the ventastega's skeleton is marked with photo luminescent print. Keep the coin in direct bright light for at least 40 seconds; then look at it in the dark - ventastega's skeleton will glow.

The graphic design and plaster model of the collector coin was created by artist Ivars Drulle.

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A tetrapod Ventastega curonica, coming out of shallow waters on land, is featured on the obverse; its skeleton is marked with photo luminescent print. The course of time over millions of years has been featured in a stylised manner as dots and lines, as well as 365 000 000, the number of years, has been arranged on the reverse.

Starting from 12.00 (noon) on 24 November, the new coin will be on sale online via e-monetas.lv, Latvijas Banka's website for purchases of collector coins and other numismatic products. The price of the coin via e-monetas.lv  is 48.00 euro; the purchase limit for one buyer will be 5 coins. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 3 000. The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).

The collector coin "Ventastega" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as collector coins are in fact works of art and are in high demand among coin collectors and other interested parties.