April 28, 2016 – Latvijas Banka has issued a new 5 euro silver collector coin – ‘Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog’s Coat’. This is the second coin in a special collector coin series dedicated to the most dearly loved and significant Latvian fairy tales. The first one honouring the fairy tale about five cats was issued in 2015 and has become highly popular.
Latvia / 5 euro / .925 silver / 28.28g / 42x35mm / Design: Gundega Muzikante, Ligita Franckevica / Mintage: 10,000.
This coin of a special oval shape is struck by UAB Lietuvos monetu kalykla (Lithuania). Its obverse features a princess carrying a hedgehog in her apron, while the reverse shows a herd of swine, led by a hedgehog, and a fragment of an ethnographic building.
The graphic design of ‘Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog’s Coat’ has been created by Gundega Muzikante, and the author of the plaster model is Ligita Franckevica. For G. Muzikante, a celebrated children’s book illustrator, this is her debut in coin art.
The hedgehog is often ascribed many positive characteristics of humans: wisdom, diligence, kind-heartedness. It has become the symbol and role-model of these virtues. In the fairy tale about hedgehog’s coat, resourcefulness, courage and patience let the puny hedgehog marry a princess and turn into a stately prince.
This Latvian fairy tale has been included in ‘Ride with the Sun II: An Anthology of Folk Tales and Stories from Countries of the United Nations’. Its literary, authored versions have also gained popularity. The one created in the form of a long poem in 1921 by Vilis Pludons (1874-1940) and recorded by the brilliant actress Anta Klints was among the most favoured children’s tales in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 2012, Latvijas Banka put into circulation a 1 lats coin with the image of a hedgehog on its reverse. Now its euro collector coin fairy tale series is supplemented with an oval 5 euro silver collector coin with the protagonist of the fairy tale ‘Hedgehog’s Coat’ on it. It is an old folk tradition that one should also have a hedgehog’s spine in one’s hem or mitten – then the wearer will have good luck. In order to protect the prickly coats and for Latvian hedgehogs to do well, now it is possible to use this coin for good luck.
The collector coin ‘Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog’s Coat’ is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of collector coins in circulation is unlikely, for, by nature, they are works of art enjoying high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 10,000.
To learn more about Latvia’s collector coins click here.
There is also a Latvian folktale about the hedgehog’s contribution to how God created the world.