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Riga, 1 December 2010

Tomorrow, on 2 December, the Bank of Latvia will issue "Coin of Time III": the third bimetallic 1-lats collector coin. The coin has been designed by artist Laimonis Šēnbergs and modelled by sculptor Jānis Strupulis.

The Bank of Latvia collector coins are miniature art works dedicated to Latvian treasures: events, successes, people that are expressive of our culture. The obverse of each of the triptych coins features a distinctive flower of the heraldic rose, the symbol of love and beauty, and a token of respect for the discoverer of niobium Heinrich Rose who launched his career in Latvia (letters H and R). The chemist Heinrich Rose who discovered the new element and called it niobium started his carrier and carried out his first research as an apprentice at a pharmacy in Jelgava at the beginning of the 19th century.

The reverse of the "Coin of Time III" features a silver ring depicting the phases of the Moon that are particularly useful for counting the time, so no wonder that the lunar calendar is among the very oldest. The modern era knows a variety of lunar calendars (agricultural, health, etc.), which are often compared to horoscopes, recognising that the Moon, while not ruling a person's life, still influences it. The green niobium disk features forests, fields, rocks, and watery wastes of our planet, viewed in a circle as if from up high.

The central part of the niobium disk of the reverse can be used for recording events or important facts of one's life or for engraving a message for the recipient of the coin.

Although it is a long time since multi-coloured coins, produced by coating the metal with enamel or dye, have been known to the numismatic circles, the use of niobium in coin minting started quite recently when the Austrian mint, Münze Österreich, recognised the ability of the metal to change colour as a result of electrochemical processing. The outer ring of the coin has been struck in silver, whereas the central part this time has been struck in rich green niobium.

The bimetallic 1-lats "Coin of Time III" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. The maximum number of issued coins is limited to 7 000. The "Coin of Time III" will be on sale at the Bank of Latvia and such traditional points of coin sale as banks and souvenir and jewellery shops. The price of the coin at the Bank of Latvia's cashier offices is 36.30 lats. Description of the coin.

Information for the editor
Money in form, collector coins are in fact works of art. They are usually made of gold, silver or other precious metals of especially high fineness. As opposed to currency in general circulation, collector coins are usually not intended to be used as a means of payment, but as a gift, souvenir or collector's item. Consequently, the price of collector coins is considerably higher than their nominal value.