At the international contest The Coin of the Year, the collector coin marking the 200th birth anniversary of composer Richard Wagner, issued by Latvijas Banka in 2013, was bestowed world's Best Silver Coin honours.
The coin award contest The Coin of the Year is often deemed an equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars).
The coins having earned awards in different categories (e.g. the Best Gold Coin, the Bets Silver Coin, the Best Bi-Metallic Coin, etc.) at the first round of voting will compete for the title of Coin of the Year. All in all for the second round of voting, the panel of judges selected 10 winning coins, with Latvijas Banka's dedication to Richard Wagner among them. The voting will conclude in December, and the results will be published in January 2015.
Latvijas Banka participates in this coin competition on a regular basis and with good results. Most significantly, in 2010, the gold Coin of Latvia topped the Best Gold category and also won the 2010 Coin of the Year Award. Since 2000, such coins as Millennium, Destiny, Fight for Freedom and Fog Mists the Pane have won awards in various categories.
The coin dedicated to Wagner was issued in June 2013 to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the renowned German composer. It commemorates the active Riga period of the composer when he took to writing his first important opera Rienzi.
The authors of the coin are Aigars Ozoliņš (graphic design of obverse), Ivo Grundulis (graphic design of reverse) and Ligita Franckeviča (plaster model). The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).
Since 1995, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 collector coins denominated in lats and five euro coins that in accordance with the common European methodology are also designated as collector coins. Over 40 Latvian artists have participated in designing them.
The Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka, which is a special purpose entity formed on 12 November 1993, plays a role of utmost importance in the coin issuing process. The Commission is made up of the employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian art and culture experts as well as artists and scientists.