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Press Release of June 8, 1998

The 10-lats coin that the Bank of Latvia issued within the framework of the international program "The Smallest Gold Coins of the World" has won recognition in an international competition organized by the well-known German magazine Deutsches Muenzenmagazin, which specializes in numismatics. The coin was included in the list of fifteen best coins issued in 1997.

The jury, which was comprised of well-known numismatists, evaluated the design, quality and theme of coins as well as other aspects that endow coins with numismatic value. One more coin issued by an Eastern European country, the Russian 50-ruble gold coin, was included in the list.

Presently, the 10-lats coin is this country's smallest. It was designed in Latvia by artist Janis Strupulis and struck at Valcambi SA in Switzerland. The coin's fineness is .999.9. The reverse features the gaff-sail schooner Julia Maria built in the 19th century.

In the past couple of months, the European press has published several articles about Latvia in reference to its collector coins. The section "Portraits of Countries" of the magazine Deutsches Muenzenmagazin contained information about Latvia, outlining the effort that the Bank of Latvia has invested in developing the design of its coins and notes. The Swiss numismatic magazine Muenzen Revue published a review under the title "News from the Baltic States", including information from Latvia. The bulletin of the British Royal Mint (No. 66) contained a page-long description of the series of coins commemorating the 800th anniversary of Riga.