On Thursday, 31 August, Latvijas Banka is issuing a new 20 euro gold collector coin "Gold Brooches. The Horseshoe Fibula".

The coin replicating a horseshoe fibula continues the series of euro gold collector coins dedicated to Latvia's centenary. In November 2016, a collector coin featuring a disc fibula was issued, but in 2018, the anniversary year, this series will be concluded with a golden collector coin replicating a bubble fibula.

Gold Brooches. The Horseshoe Fibula

The event programme for Latvia's centenary celebration is based on the concept of involving the general public, each individual and institution in the process of creating the celebration and the associated long-lasting values. Preparations for Latvia's centenary will commence with the tasks and events planned already for 2017, but the festivities and activities celebrating Latvia will continue for five years. Latvijas Banka will contribute to Latvia's centenary programme by ensuring research on significant developments in the financial history of Latvia and assessment of the contribution of outstanding personalities. Also, a number of commemorative and collector coin series and several coins dedicated to the foundation of the state will be created. Latvijas Banka will conclude Latvia's centenary celebration by marking the 100th anniversary of the national central bank on 1 November 2022.

The graphic design of the collector coin "Gold Brooches. The Horseshoe Fibula" has been created by Ingūna Elere, and the plaster model – by Solvita Rulle. Both artists are also the authors of the coin replicating the disc fibula.

The coin "Gold Brooches. The The Horseshoe Fibula" has been minted by Münze Österreich Aktiengesellschaft (Austria). Inscriptions "#Latvija", "#pakavsakta", "#8_12gs", "20 euro" and "#2017" are depicted on the obverse of the gold coin, while the reverse features a stylised image of a 12th century horseshoe fibula with star-shaped ends.

According to the concept of artist Ingūna Elere, the brooch featured on the coin provides centuries-old information, while the hashtags highlighting the times we live in are located on the obverse of the coin. The brooch tells us a story about ancient times in Latvia's history, but the reverse of the coin – about the present day, i.e. how we communicate in the virtual environment and social networks, and how we select topics important to us.

The history of the brooch in the territory of Latvia began with various brooches from the early Iron Age (1st–4th century AD) – the so-called eye fibulae, tutulus fibulae, cross-ribbed fibulae, arbalest fibulae and round disc fibulae with openwork wheel, cross and fire cross motifs. The older brooches were imported, but soon the local craftsmen began to use them as models to make their own brooches, with their form reflecting the local aesthetic and mental concepts. Brooches were used to fasten and adorn clothing by all – men, women and children. The form of and ornamentation on brooches also served a protective function (jewellery as amulet). The form, size and material may have changed, yet the brooches have remained popular until the present day.

Horseshoe fibula was the most popular type of ancient brooches and has been used on the territory of contemporary Latvia for almost 1 000 years. They became a typical adornment in the Late Iron Age (9th–12th century) when they were cast in bronze, iron and silver. Horseshoe fibulae were used by both men and women. Only at the end of the 17th century horseshoe fibulae were completely replaced by ring fibulae.

The collector coin "Gold Brooches. The Horseshoe Fibula" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as they are in fact works of art and are in special demand among coin collectors and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 4 000.

The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is 270 euro. Beginning with 31 August, the coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja), as well as online via Latvijas Banka's collector coin and other numismatic product site at e-monetas.lv (address: https://www.e-monetas.lv).

The newly created site offers a wide range of collector coins and other numismatic products issued by Latvijas Banka, including also "Gold Brooches. The Disc Fibula", the first collector coin of the series dedicated to brooches.

Closely working together with JSC Swedbank, settlements by VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard un Maestro payment cards are made possible for the convenience of customers, as well as the internet banks of JSCs "Swedbank" and "Citadele banka". Purchased collector coins and numismatic products can be collected at Latvijas Banka cashier's offices in Riga and Liepāja (for their addresses, see https://www.bank.lv/en/about-us/cashier-s-office) as well as by using delivery services of SJSC Latvijas Pasts, within the territory of Latvia. 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.

The coin will also be available at such traditional points of sale as numismatic shops, book stores and souvenir and jewellery shops (https://monetas.bank.lv/images/stories/pielikumi/nauda/Monetu-tirdzniecibas-vietas.pdf).