The production of Latvian Euro Coins recently commenced at the mint in Stuttgart, Germany in preparation for the changeover from the Lats to the Euro. The 1- and 2- Euro coins feature a design which many readers will recognize.
This is the design which appeared on the original 5-lats silver coins issued in 1929. The “folk girl” or “folk maid” design became a symbol of Latvia’s freedom and sovereignty with examples secretly stored by many Latvian families during the Soviet era.
In recent times, the design has been used for two commemorative coin releases. The first appearance was on a 1/25 oz. gold coin issued in 2003.
Last year, the design was used for a 5-lats silver collector coin issued to mark the 90th anniversary of the central bank and the national currency unit. This also represented the 90th collector coin issued during Latvia’s renewed independence. The issue was met with a very favorable collector response.
The new Latvian cent coins, including 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent denominations, will feature large and small versions of the Latvian coat of arms. The large version is the same as the one which appears on the silver coin above.
In November and December 2013, the Bank of Latvia will start delivery of euro banknotes and coins to commercial banks. On December 10, distribution to business and shops will begin, with a start-up set of coins available to the public. The Latvian euro coins will become legal tender on January 1, 2014.
The Bank of Latvia provided a YouTube video of the production of the new coins, which is embedded below. There is also a Flickr photo gallery, which can be found here.