Riga, 22 February 2010

The Bank of Latvia today issued a silver collector coin "Duke Jacob's 400th Anniversary". The graphic design has been made by artist Ilze Libiete after a medal commemorating Duke Jacob, the authors of plaster model are sculptors Ligita Franckevica and Janis Strupulis.

The Bank of Latvia collector coins are miniature art works dedicated to Latvian treasures: events, successes, people that are expressive of our culture. Duke Jacob (1610-1681), the ruler of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, was a bright personality who brought modernisation to his country and turned it into a prospering economy. He has become a next-to-mythological personage embodying the image of the "good and smart" ruler. During his rule 70 manufactories were established in Courland, representing a variety of industries starting with pig-iron casting and ending with tapestry weaving, over 135 ships were built, urban craftsmanship flourished, churches and schools were erected. Courland's merchant marine, the largest in the Baltic Sea, shipped the Duchy's produce to many countries worldwide.

The coat of arms of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia on the reverse of the coin has been designed after a silver memorial medal, presumably struck in 1642 in commemoration of Duke Jacob's enthroning.

The silver one-lats coin "Duke Jacob's 400th Anniversary" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. Its maximum circulation will be 5 000 units. The coin "Duke Jacob's 400th Anniversary" will be available for sale at the Bank of Latvia and in the traditional locations where coins are sold: banks, souvenir and jewellery shops. Price of the coin at the Bank of Latvia: LVL 23.10.

Information for editors:
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.