“Smith Forges in the Sky” named Latvia’s Coin of the Year 2017

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May 10, 2018 – In the traditional public voting, the collector coin “Smith Forges in the Sky” was voted Latvia’s Coin of the Year 2017. From 3 April to 17 April 2018, Latvijas Banka, in cooperation with the news portal Delfi, organised the public vote “Latvia’s Coin of the Year 2017”. The above vote takes place on a regular basis; it is an important annual event in Latvian coin art. Overall, more than 7000 votes were cast; of them, almost 2300 were in favour of the coin “Smith Forges in the Sky”.

Latvia / silver .925 / 31.47g / 38.61mm / Mintage: 4,000.

Latvijas Banka’s collector coin “Smith Forges in the Sky”, dedicated to Latvian folk songs, features some lines from a Latvian folk song and the drawings personifying objects of nature and natural phenomena. Thunder or the Heavenly Smith is accompanied by the Sun and the daughters of the Sun, the Moon and an array of stars. As this is a very common motif in folk songs, this particular category of folk songs takes up quite a lot of space in Krisjanis Barons’ (1835-1923) Cabinet of Folk Songs, featured on the list of Registered Heritage of UNESCO?s Memory of the World Programme since 2001.

During the ceremony on 27 April 2018 the author of the plaster model Ligita Franckevica and artist Edgars Folks were honoured. Photo: © Latvijas Banka.

The graphic design of the collector coin was created by artist Edgars Folks and the author of the plaster model was Ligita Franckevica.

The young soloist singer Aleksandra Spicberga demonstrated how important traditional music is still in Latvia. Photo: © Latvijas Banka.

“Narrating” coins

One of the purposes of the silver and gold collector coins is to tell the story of essential events in Latvian history, personalities, achievements in culture and philosophical categories to people in Latvia and abroad. Each coin carries a laconic message communicating rich content. It has been developed in intensive creative work managed by the Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka, made up of the employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian experts of art and culture, and artists. 

Janis Blums, Member of the Board of Latvijas Banka and Head of the Cash Department of Latvijas Banka, spoke about the work of the Coin Design Commission. Photo: © Latvijas Banka.

At the coin artist award ceremony, Janis Blums, Member of the Board of Latvijas Banka and Head of the Cash Department of Latvijas Banka, emphasized that the Coin Design Commission has been working on coin programmes and themes in a systemic way. Coin designers, in their turn, are seeking ways how to turn the above ideas into real coins and show both to us ourselves and to people all over the world the values and treasures of Latvia. “And how to help each and every collector coin find its owner – be it a gift to mark special events in a person’s life, e.g. baptism, wedding or anniversaries; an investment in artistic values and precious metals; an addition to numismatic collections in Latvia and the world over,” said Janis Blums.

Latvia is proud of its coin design created over more than 25 years. Latvian banknotes and coins, with over 50 best Latvian artists having participated in designing them, are included in the Cultural Canon of Latvia, and many coins have received high international recognition and a number of prestigious awards. These coins are considered to be a perfect gift promoting Latvia’s culture, art and innovative design.

At the event, the expert commission of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMM) named the collector coin “Eduards Veidenbaums” Latvia’s best coin in terms of artistic solution in 2017.

For further information, visit the official site of Latvijas Banka.

We reported on the coin when it was presented officially last year.

If you listen to the singer Aleksandra Spicberga, you will understand what this coin means to Latvian collectors.

You can also watch a video of a 3D model of the coin.

On the Latvijas Banka website you will find information (in Latvian) and photos of the artists Edgars Folks and Ligita Franckevica.