Created on 08.12.2011

Tomorrow, on 9 December, the Bank of Latvia will issue a new 1-lats circulation coin with a gingerbread heart featured on the reverse. It is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. The coins will be circulated in the same way as any other circulation money and reach commercial and other enterprises as well as the population via banks.

The coin has been designed by artist Rūta Briede and modelled by sculptor Laura Medne. The new 1-lats coins have been struck at the Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt in the Netherlands.

For ten years now, the Bank of Latvia has kept alive the tradition of issuing special 1-lats circulation coins. A coin with an image of a stork opened the series, and since 2004 a new coin has been put into circulation twice a year to mark Līgo or Jāņi festivities and the Christmas season. Gingerbread is a unique treat: gingerbread items appeal to practically everybody and bring festive sensations even in the absence of a Christmas tree and other attributes characteristic of the season. A gingerbread heart is, no doubt, the queen of all types of gingerbread and not just during the Christmas season.

The reverse of the new 1-lats coin features a gingerbread heart. The minting year of the new coin (2011) is featured on the obverse, beneath the large coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia. In terms of the edge, size, metal used and weight, there are no other differences vis-á-vis the other 1-lats circulation coins.

The total circulation of the coin is one million, and, like all other special 1-lats circulation coins, it will not be supplemented.

There are also circulation coins featuring a stork, an ant, a mushroom, Sprīdītis (Latvian Tom Thumb), St. Peter's Church spire rooster, a pretzel, a Līgo wreath, a pinecone, an owl fibula, a snowman, a water-lily, a chimney-sweep, a Namejs ring, a Christmas tree, a toad, a horseshoe (two coins of differing design) and a beer mug. The circulation of special 1-lats coins is planned also for the future, i.e. until the time Latvia becomes a full member of the Economic and Monetary Union and introduces the euro.