Created on 07.06.2012

The Bank of Latvia has issued a new 1-lats circulation coin with a hedgehog 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, reaching commercial and other enterprises as well as inhabitants through banks.

The coin has been designed by artist Andris Vītoliņš and modelled by sculptor Laura Medne. The new 1-lats coins have been struck at the Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

For 11 years now, the Bank of Latvia has kept alive the tradition of issuing special 1-lats circulation coins. A coin with an image of stork opened the series, and since 2004, a new coin has been put into circulation twice a year to mark Līgo (or summer solstice) festivities and the Christmas season.

An inhabitant and a frequent visitor of farmsteads and even city courtyards, the hedgehog is popular among Latvians and also holds an honourable place in Latvian folk-tales, literature and mythology. An old belief goes that a hedgehog's spine stuck in a lapel or mitten will bring good luck. To minimise the risk to hedgehog's coat of spines, the Bank of Latvia has coined a talisman to be carried in their wallets for those who seek good luck and prosperity.

The reverse of the new 1-lats coin features a hedgehog. The minting year of the new coin (2012) is featured on the obverse, beneath the coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia. In terms of edge, size, material 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 replenished.

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