Published: 30.04.2014

The public coin-of-the-year survey named the Baby Coin as the winner of Latvia's Coin of the Year 2013 award. Almost 6 200 people participated in the survey and around 1 700 cast their votes for the Baby Coin. The author of the coin's graphic design is Anita Paegle but the plaster model was made by Jānis Strupulis. Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, Governor of Latvijas Banka, presented the artists with the traditional prize – the Coin of Latvia, a gold coin with the design once conceived by Teodors Zaļkalns and struck in gold in 2008.

During the award ceremony, A. Paegle, the author of the coin's graphic design, said that she had nurtured the idea about a baby coin since her childhood when, lost in reverie, she often turned her dreams into fancy birds on paper. Now they have materialised in the coin, struck in silver and favoured by people as a befitting baby gift. "Thousands of birds have blessed numerous families with baby cradles. And there are some accomplishments by the mouse, too," remarked the artist.

I. Rimšēvičs noted that the year 2013 had been special for Latvijas Banka and the art of coin design alike, for it was the time of the 20th anniversary of the renewed lats and the 90th jubilee of Latvijas Banka. The preparations for the changeover to the euro were underway simultaneously with the on-going implementation of Latvia's collector coin programme – the process in which Latvijas Banka has achieved top-level efficiency, quality and popularity. According to I. Rimšēvičs, the Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka is committed to prove that we will continue to issue coins of high artistic quality to be circulated and accepted worldwide also after the changeover to the euro.

The Governor of Latvijas Banka praised the authors of the Baby Coin for their attainment, stating with pleasure that the coin is exceptionally beautiful and sweet and well-accepted in Latvia.

At the festive event, three special prizes were also awarded. The artists who designed and modelled the Baby Coin received an award from Latvian public libraries (project Trešais tēvadēls) and company Lursoft. The coin Oh, Holy Lestene! won the coin collectors' award, but the award of the Valters & Rapa Publishers was presented to the coin dedicated to Rūdolfs Blaumanis.

The public survey on Latvia's Coin of the Year Award is the central annual event dedicated to the coin art of Latvia, enabling artists to demonstrate their contributions to this specific genre of art and Latvijas Banka to elicit public opinion on both the central bank's attainments in issuing collector coins and the attractiveness of coin themes and artistic presentations. In 2013, Latvijas Banka issued seven collector coins: Silver Salmon, Baby Coin, Oh, Holy Lestene, 365, and coins dedicated to Rūdolfs Blaumanis, Rihards Vāgners and Jāzeps Vītols.


The Baby Coin offered by Latvijas Banka is a traditional present given to a newly-born baby, serving as a symbolic starting capital for materially secure life. The obverse of the coin features a cradle held by a bird, with a baby in it. The reverse of the coin bears an image of a mouse pulling a chest.

Since 2004 when Latvijas Banka began to conduct such surveys, Latvia's Coin of the Year Award has gone to the Coin of Time, Baron Münchhausen, Coin of Digits, Coin of Time II, Lucky Coin, Coin of Water, Amber Coin, Fog Mists the Pane, and 5-Lats Silver Collector Coin.

Since the re-establishment of the national currency unit, the lats, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 collector coins denominated in lats, which are money in form but miniature works of art in fact, dedicated to Latvia's core values and treasures. The lats collector coins have won over 20 awards at international contests, most for innovative and highly artistic solutions. Over 40 Latvian artists have contributed to the coin design process. In March, Latvijas Banka issued the very first Latvian euro collector coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Ainaži Nautical School.

In 2014, Latvijas Banka will proceed with issuing euro-denominated collector coins commemorating the country's cultural and historical values. The coin celebrating Ainaži Nautical School will be followed by a dedication to Baltā grāmata (The White Book) by Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš, 300th anniversary of Old Stenders, Baroque style and art in Courland, and 25 years of the Baltic Way. A coin of innovative artistic, technological or thematic concept will also be produced, this year dedicated to the four seasons of the year and the related activities and celebrations.

More pictures from yesterday's ceremony -