Created on 03.09.2014

On Thursday, 4 September, Latvijas Banka is issuing a new 5 euro silver collector coin dedicated to Gotthard Friedrich Stender (1714–1796), the founder of Latvian secular literature.

The graphic design of the coin is created by Aigars Ozoliņš, and Jānis Strupulis is the author of the plaster model. The coin has been struck in the Netherlands by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt. The images on coin's obverse are taken from the title page of the first edition of "A Book of High Wisdom on the World and Nature" by G. F. Stenders, also known as Vecais Stenders (Old Stenders) in Latvia: a pastor is showing a boy how full of wonders this world is. The reverse of the coin features the progressive idea of the world, the heliocentric concept of the universe.

The coin celebrates the 300th anniversary since the birth of G. F. Stender.

Old Stenders is an outstanding representative of the 18th century Enlightenment. He is considered the founder of Latvian secular literature. He wrote fairy-tales, fables, short stories and popular songs; he compiled ABCs in Latvian and created such works essential for the formation of a cultural nation as a grammar of the Latvian language and a Latvian-German and German-Latvian dictionary.

"A Book of High Wisdom on the World and Nature" (1774), in fact the very first peasant encyclopaedia in Europe, is the most outstanding of all the creations by G. F. Stender. It explains natural phenomena and the basic principles of physics and astronomy, including rotating of the Earth around its axis and around the Sun; from it one can get basic insights into issues related to meteorology, zoology, botany, chemistry and geology; it tells its readers about mountains and deserts, earthquakes and volcanoes, seas and rivers.

The euro collector coin dedicated to Old Stenders is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. Its mintage is limited to 10 000 coins.

Starting with 4 September, the new collector coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka (cashier offices at K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga, and in Liepāja and Daugavpils Branches) and such traditional points of sale as banks and souvenir and jewellery shops. The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka's cashier offices is 41.07 euro.