June 1, 2017 – To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Latvian and Estonian states and the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Lithuanian statehood, the central banks of the three Baltic States – Latvijas Banka, Lietuvos Bankas and Eesti Pank – plan to issue a 2 euro commemorative coin with a common design in early 2018. This coin will remind the population of the Baltic States and elsewhere in the euro area of the determination of the Baltic nations to defend their independence. The coin is also a testimony of the unity of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and their readiness to cooperate for the sake of their independence and freedom.
This is the first common 2 euro commemorative coin of the Baltic States. Moreover, it has been created through the involvement of artists and the public of the three countries. As is the case with other 2 euro commemorative coins, the coins of this issue will be valid for settlement across the euro area. The coins will have an identical national side design selected via the public vote, while the name of the issuing country will represent the only difference.
The creation of the first common commemorative coin of the Baltic States in cooperation with the closest neighbours is one of the most prominent accomplishments of the programme Latvijas Banka plans to implement in the context of the 100th anniversary of Latvia.
2 euro commemorative coin of the Baltic States: the Baltic “sisters” with plaited hair, designed by Justas Petrulis.
The work by Lithuanian designer Justas Petrulis, i.e. a symbolic plait in which the fates of the three Baltic sisters intertwine, will turn into the common Baltic 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Baltic States. This design received the most votes in the public survey in which six coin designs were offered for a vote (per two from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia).
14,302 people from all over the world, except Antarctica from which no votes were received, participated in the vote, but the vast majority of votes (93%) came from the Baltic States. In total, 4277 votes were cast for the work by the young Lithuanian designer Justas Petrulis; this is his debut in coin art.
The work by Justas Petrulis symbolises the common past, present and future of the Baltic States intertwined in a singlet plait. The author expresses the idea of his work in a quatrain:
“Baltic sisters plaited their hair
As if one story – joint plait.
Mutual past, present and future,
Century of States unites three Baltic daughters.”
Now the practical procedures, including harmonisation of the coin designs at European Union institutions, will be commenced to mint the coin.
Six works were submitted for the vote (see here). Their authors are Egle Ratkute and Arunas Zemaitis (work No. 1), Justas Petrulis (work No. 2), Kriss Salmanis (work No. 3), Mall Nukke (work No. 4), Liina Loobas and Kristo Kooskora (work No. 5) as well as Ruta Briede and Artis Briedis (work No. 6).
As many as 100 winners were chosen in a draw, and each of them will receive three coins of Brilliant Uncirculated quality in a special souvenir packing – a coin from Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian mintage. The names of the winners are published on this website. They will be contacted by the organisers of the draw, but the prizes will be sent to them in early 2018 when the coins are issued.
More information on the project is available here.