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Latvian collector coins "Rainis and Aspazija", "500 Years of Livonian Ferding" and "Valse Mélancolique" gained recognition at Coin Constellation – 2016, the 10th international collector coin contest organised by the Water Mark Publishing House.

Last week the results of the contest were announced in Moscow. Overall, more than 240 coins and 21 coin series issued by central banks, mints and other organisations issuing coins from 29 countries participated in the contest.

Coins issued from 1 January to 31 December 2015 could be submitted for the contest. An international panel of judges assessed the coins in nine award categories.

The winner in the category Unique Concept is the coin "Rainis and Aspazija" minted by Latvijas Banka in 2015. The silver collector coin "Rainis and Aspazija" is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Rainis and Aspazija, two brilliant minds of Latvia. The graphic design of the coin was created by Arta Ozola-Jaunarāja, and Ligita Franckeviča is the author of the plaster model. The coin was by UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania). The coin is made of two detachable parts, of which one features Rainis and the other bears the image of Aspazija adorned with red flowers, a visualisation of her most popular collection of verse. The reverse of the coin shows lines of poetry, which Rainis and Aspazija dedicated to each other.

The winner in the category Successful Artistic Solution is the silver collector coin "Valse Mélancolique". The graphic design of the coin was created by Ilmārs Blumbergs, and Jānis Strupulis is the author of the plaster model. The coin, struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands), is dedicated to Valse Mélancolique, one of the most outstanding pieces of Latvian symphonic music, written by the magnificentLatvian composer Emīls Dārziņš. The obverse of the coin depicts a radiant shooting star, half-encircled by seven concentric bands of an arc at the top, which symbolise a rainbow. The reverse of the coin features the inscription Valse Mélancolique. According to the concept of Ilmārs Blumbergs, author of the coin, the shooting star represents Dārziņš' premature and tragic death, while the seven bands of the rainbow symbolise turning to God through music.

The silver collector coin "500 Years of Livonian Ferding" was awarded the second place in the category Coin Classic. This coin is meant to fulfil a historic and cultural mission: the ferding is reintroduced to feature not just as an image of folk songs and fairy tales but to live on as a real silver piece of currency. The author of the coin's graphic design is Laimonis Šēnbergs, and Ligita Franckeviča created its plaster model. It was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).

The prize-winning coins - "Rainis and Aspazija", "500 Years of Livonian Ferding" and "Valse Mélancolique" - are still available at the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka in Riga and Liepāja and at traditional points of sale throughout Latvia. For further information about these and other collector coins currently on sale, see https://monetas.bank.lv/coins-for-sale.

Coin Constellation is a contest in which Latvia has successfully participated before. In 2015, for instance, the silver collector coin dedicated to "The White Book", a masterpiece created by an outstanding Latvian writer Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš, was the winner in the category Unique Concept; the silver collector coin issued in August 2014 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way was ranked second in the category Silver Coin of the Year. 

MZ 2016