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On Tuesday, 19 April, Latvijas Banka is issuing a new 5 euro silver collector coin – "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat". This is the second coin in a special collector coin series dedicated to the most dearly loved and significant Latvian fairy tales. The first one honouring the fairy tale about five cats was issued last year and has become highly popular.

The graphic design of "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat" has been created by Gundega Muzikante, and the author of the plaster model is Ligita Franckeviča. For G. Muzikante, a celebrated children's book illustrator, this is her debut in coin art.  

This coin of a special oval shape is struck by UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania). Its obverse features a princess carrying a hedgehog in her apron, while the reverse shows a herd of swine, led by a hedgehog, and a fragment of an ethnographic building.

The hedgehog is often ascribed many positive characteristics of humans: wisdom, diligence, kind-heartedness. It has become the symbol and role-model of these virtues. In the fairy tale about hedgehog's coat, resourcefulness, courage and patience let the puny hedgehog marry a princess and turn into a stately prince.  

This Latvian fairy tale has been included in "Ride with the Sun II: An Anthology of Folk Tales and Stories from Countries of the United Nations". Its literary, authored versions have also gained popularity. The one created in the form of a long poem in 1921 by Vilis Plūdons (1874–1940) and recorded by the brilliant actress Anta Klints was among the most favoured children's tales in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 2012, Latvijas Banka put into circulation a 1 lats coin with the image of a hedgehog on its reverse. Now its euro collector coin fairy tale series is supplemented with an oval 5 euro silver collector coin with the protagonist of the fairy tale "Hedgehog's Coat" on it. It is an old folk tradition that one should also have a hedgehog's spine in one's hem or mitten – then the wearer will have good luck. In order to protect the prickly coats and for Latvian hedgehogs to do well, now it is possible to use this coin for good luck.

The collector coin "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat " is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of collector coins in circulation is unlikely, for, by nature, they are works of art enjoying high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 10 000.

The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is 39 euro. As of 19 April, it will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja); it can also be obtained via the collector coin and other numismatic product online reservation service under the Banknotes and Coins Section (https://rezervetmonetu.bank.lv) of Latvijas Banka website (www.bank.lv). The first and foremost advantage of the innovative service is the opportunity for clients to buy new collector coins and different numismatic products offered online by Latvijas Banka at the most convenient time for them and without waiting in lines. It is most likely to suit the needs of customers, e.g. from regions, who are busy on the initial days of launching a new coin or due to other reasons cannot visit the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka.

Reservations for the collector coin "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat" will be accepted from 18 April to 24 April 2016; the ordered coins shall be collected at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices from 27 April throughout 26 May 2016). Reservations can be placed for 700 "Hedgehog's Coat" collector coins.

The coin will be available also at such traditional points of sale as coin shops, book stores and souvenir and jewellery shops (https://monetas.bank.lv/images/stories/pielikumi/nauda/Monetu-tirdzniecibas-vietas.pdf). Collector coins and other numismatic products issued by Latvijas Banka are for sale also online from the JSC "Latvijas Pasts" (http://old.pasts.lv/lv/veikals/).

Information about the collector coins for sale at the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka is available at https://monetas.bank.lv/en/coins-for-sale. This site shows that a vast range of thematically and artistically diverse collector and commemorative coins are still available, among them several collector coins denominated in lats, four of the euro silver collector coins issued in 2014, and five such euro collector coins issued in 2015 as "150 Years of Firefighting in Latvia", "500 Years of the Riga Castle", "Rainis and Aspazija", "Valse Mélancolique" (a dedication to Emīls Dārziņš) and "500 Years of Livonian Ferding".