Published: 24.05.2011

The Bank of Latvia has issued a new 1-lats collector coin "Rundale Palace". The coin has been designed by Guntars Sietins and modelled by Janis Strupulis.

The Bank of Latvia collector coins are miniature works of art dedicated to Latvian treasures: events, achievements, people, and national cultural values. Today we mark the 275th anniversary of the day when on 24 May 1736 the corner stone of Rundāle Palace, an outstanding monument of Latvian art, was laid. The Palace with the park designed by Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli and the largest rose garden in the Baltic States form a sizeable ensemble surrounded by undisturbed nature of the Zemgale Plain. A European Heritage Site, the Rundale Palace is a very popular tourism destination in Latvia.

The obverse of the coin features a bird's eye view of Rundale Palace and its formal garden as it used to be represented in 18th century engravings. The coat of arms of count Ernst Johann Biron designed after a drawing by F. B. Rastrelli is on the reverse: he himself made a sketch for the silver-engraved memorial plate that was laid at the foundation of the Palace 275 years ago.

24 May, the day when the Palace corner stone was laid in 1736, has been chosen as the release date of the new collector coin and the day of the event celebrating the anniversary. In those ancient days, count E. J. Biron, favourite of the Russian Empress Anna, welcomed the guests; today Imants Lancmanis, Director of Rundale Palace, artist and art historian who, for 35 years now, leads the restoration and life of this monument of Baroque art, will take care of receiving the visitors.

The silver 1-lats coin "Rundale Palace" is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. The maximum number of issued coin is limited to 5 000. The coin dedicated to Rundale Palace is on sale at the Bank of Latvia, Rundale Palace and such traditional points of coin sale as banks, souvenir and jewellery shops. The price of the coin at the Bank of Latvia cashier offices is 33.20 lats. Description of the coin

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 collector coins are 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.

Since the re-introduction of the lats, the Bank of Latvia has already issued 81 collector coins, of which more than 10 have won awards at the most prestigious international coin design fairs and competitions.