On November 1, 2012, the Bank of Latvia issued a new 5-Lats silver collector coin to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the central bank and the national currency unit. This also represented the 90th collector coin minted during the years of Latvia’s renewed independence.
The design for the collector coin is from the original 5-lats silver coin issued in 1929. The design was created by graphic artist Rihards Zariņš with the assistance of Royal Mint engraver Percy Metcalfe. The design became a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and sovereignty with examples secretly stored by many Latvian families during the Soviet era.
The obverse design features the coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia at center. The number “5” is shown below with the year of issue “2012” above and the inscriptions “PIECEI” and “LATI” in a semi-circle.
The reverse design features a Latvian “folk girl” or “folk maid” shown in profile. She has ears of corn at her shoulder and the inscriptions “LATVIJAS” and “REPUBLIKA” are arranged within an outer semi-circle.
Each coin has a composition of 92.5% silver with a diameter of 37.00 mm and weight of 25.00 grams.
The mintage for the 2012 Latvian Folk Girl 5 Lats Silver Coin is 10,000 pieces, which is higher than normal for a Latvian collector coin, likely in anticipation of higher worldwide demand for the issue. The coins are available for sale at the Bank of Latvia’s Cashier’s Office for 36.30 lats. This price converts to $67.80 US.
Collectors outside of Latvia can attempt to contact the Bank of Latvia for direct sales using the contact information found here. Alternatively, there are a number of coins already listed for sale on eBay. Some world coin dealers will also most likely offer the issue.
The last Latvian collector coin that I covered celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Riga Technical University with a very intriguing design. This coin had a mintage of 3,000 and a reader reported that the Bank of Latvia Cashier’s Offices had sold out of their available quantity in 3 hours.