At the prestigious international contest The Coin of the Year, the collector coin Baltic Way (Baltijas ceļš), issued by Latvijas Banka in 2014 and dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way, was recognised as the Best Contemporary Event Coin winner.

The coins ranked as winners in different categories (e.g. Best Gold Coin, Best Silver Coin, Best Bi-Metallic Coin, etc.) in the first round of voting will compete for the title of the 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 the Baltic Way among them. The results will be published in January 2016.

The coin award contest The Coin of the Year is often deemed an equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) in the film industry. 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. Last year, the coin dedicated to the German composer Richard Wagner, issued by Latvijas Banka in 2103, was bestowed world's Best Silver Coin honours.

The 5 euro silver collector coin marking the anniversary of the Baltic Way has been designed by Visvaldis Asaris (graphic design) and Ligita Franckeviča (plaster model) and is still on sale at Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka; the coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).

The coin is a dedication to the peaceful demonstration of 23 August 1989, unique on an international scale, when about 2 million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined their hands to form a human chain, which for 15 minutes was spanning over 600 km through the capital cities of Tallinn, Vilnius and Riga. This action drew the attention of the entire world, highlighting the historical injustice and demonstrating that the idea of freedom and independence is very much alive in the hearts and minds of the three nations. In the lexicon of non-violent struggle, the message of Awakening, Popular Front and Singing Revolution was supplemented by another striking entry – the Baltic Way. It was like an informal referendum that demonstrated to the occupation power, in an explicit manner, how united the Baltic nations were in their desire to regain freedom and renew independence of which they were once deprived.

The images on the coin are a braid with ribbons in the colours of national flags of the three Baltic States woven in it and a tree trunk with exposed roots.

Since 1995, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 10 euro collector coins, with over 40 Latvian artists having 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 experts of art and culture, and artists and scientists.

After the introduction of the euro, Latvijas Banka carries on the tradition of issuing collector coin series with motifs characteristic of Latvia executed in high artistic quality. Collector coins are legal tender only in the issuing country. They are unlikely to come into general circulation, for, by nature, they are works of art enjoying high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties.

The face value of collector coins must differ from that of coins in general circulation (it must be, e.g. 5 or 10 euro). Their specifications, including colour, diameter, weight, material, etc., shall be cardinally distinctive from those of the coins in general circulation.

The information about collector coins currently on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is available at

The issuance of 2 euro commemorative circulation coins of special design is another area of coin art. Each year, every euro area country is entitled to issue two such euro commemorative coins (similar to 1 lats special circulation coins previously issued in Latvia; currently, the first two 2 euro commemorative coins have already been issued), featuring events of national, European or global significance. Furthermore, euro area countries can additionally produce a third 2 euro commemorative coin, provided that it is issued jointly and that it commemorates events of Europe-wide importance.

Commemorative coins bear the same features and the same common or European side as the normal 2 euro coins, while their national sides differ and feature a national commemorating motif.

Euro commemorative coins are legal tender throughout the euro area. That means they can be used – and must be accepted – just like any other euro coin.