Riga 26 November 2009

As part of the European Union's collector coin programme "European Heritage", the Bank of Latvia today issued a silver collector coin, "Christmas Tree". The authors of its graphic design and plaster model are Edgars Folks and Jānis Strupulis, respectively.

The Bank of Latvia collector coins are miniature art works dedicated to Latvian treasures: events, successes, people that are expressive of our culture. At Christmas time, people expect subjects and images that imply joy, peace, and warmth also in coins. Let us remember that last year it was the Good Luck coin with a chimneysweep, which Latvians designated Coin of the Year 2008.

This year, commemorating the first Christmas tree decorated 500 years ago in front of Riga's Blackhead House, the silver coin has been dedicated to the tree that is so loved and welcomed by people in Latvia and all over the world. On the reverse of the coin, the artists have depicted another seasonal tradition - mummers in masks. The pre-Christian tradition of mummery has long included revering the evergreen tree. The "Christmas Tree" coin has been included in the common programme, "European Heritage" for collector's coins of EU member states.

The silver one-lats coin "Christmas Tree" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. Its maximum circulation will be 20 000 units, 10 000 of those for sale in Latvia. Description of the coin. The coin "Christmas Tree" 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.

Along with the silver collector coin, the Bank of Latvia today issued also the special one-lats circulation coin with the image of Christmas tree. The circulation of these coins is limited, but in every other way they are ordinary circulation coins. They are popular with Latvian families and collectors for their interesting images characteristic of Latvia.

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.