Riga, 20 November 2008

Today the Bank of Latvia issues a silver collector coin Basketball. The coin has been designed by artist Frančeska Kirke and modelled by sculptor Ligita Franckeviča. The coin was officially presented at 11 a.m. today, 20 November, at the Sports Museum of Latvia. Ojārs Kehris, President of the Latvian Basketball Union, Santa Anča, the patron of the 2009 Eurobasket Women (European Basketball Championship for Women), and Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, Governor of the Bank of Latvia, will participate in the event.

Latvian coins are dedicated to Latvia's values: events, persons and objects which are important to the nation and represent Latvia. Basketball is very popular in Latvia; it is associated with success and traditions. For almost a century now, we have been witnessing breathtaking basketball victories, experiencing surges of unforgettable emotions, and we have been justly proud of our country. The Latvian Basketball Union was established in 1923; since then it has promoted the development of basketball in this country and it will soon celebrate its 85th anniversary. Preparations for the 2009 Eurobasket Women in Riga are currently underway - hosting of this event is evidence to the success of basketball players, coaches, and sports organisers.

The coin Basketball is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. The maximum number of issued coins is limited to 5 000. The coin Basketball 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 22.50 lats.

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.