Latvia 2013 Oh, Holy Lestene! 1 Lats Gold Coin

The Bank of Latvia has released a coin dedicated to the Lestene Church, which was once one of the most beautiful Baroque churches in Latvia.

The Church was damaged during World War II when its spire was burnt down and the altar was shelled. In the post-war period, the Church was systematically demolished although the sculptures were saved. Since 2002, the building has been gradually repaired and the furnishings have been moved back and restored. The work has been financed through donations and a small project funding. By issuing the coin, the Bank of Latvia is making an appeal to the public to help in the restoration of the Lestene Church.

 Oh, holy Lestene! Gold Coin

The obverse design of the new gold coin features an acanthus leaf design from the side decor of the altar of the church. The inscriptions read “Latvia”, “2013”, and “1 Lats”.

2013 Lestene Church Gold Coin

The reverse features the head of an angel from the church altar. The inscription above reads “AK, SVĒTĀ LESTENE!” (OH, HOLY LESTENE!). It is part of Latvian oral tradition that the power of art, spirituality and music of the Church was so impressive that churchgoers often dropped to their knees calling out “Oh, holy Lestene!”

The artists behind the coin are Laimonis Šēnbergs (graphic design), Ligita Franckeviča (plaster model). Each coin is struck in 99.99% fine gold to proof quality with a weight of 1.2442 grams and diameter of 13.92 mm. The price of the coin at the Bank of Latvia’s Cashier Offices is 50 lats.

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  1. Rolling-Thunder says

    OT as usual!!!
    Just received e-mail from Royal Mint – wide variety of christening coins for royal baby George –

    Not so interesting to me – still waiting for royal birth coins – they were sent back to RM due to improper address (guess who’s fault) have exchanged e-mails with RM and HOPEFULLY RM resending with proper address format – have had better results when ordering from Germany & Poland!

    VABEACHBUM – how are you doing with your wayward order for royal birth?

    SCHALK – any news on who has the 2,500 royal birth coins that were graded?
    Thought they were being held (ungraded) by RM for a dual coin set with christening coin, until I saw your post.

    Waiting, waiting seems to be the norm these days for coins – hope I get my Autumn Bliss (talisman & Canada Post) & just ordered some Maple Leaf 25th Anniversary High Relief – how long will it be (Christmas)?

  2. fmtransmitter says

    My Autumn Bliss coin is taking it’s time…
    October 8, 2013 , 8:57 pm
    Processed through USPS Sort Facility

  3. VABEACHBUM says

    @ RT, Schalk, Louis and others – Thanks for asking RT. Sadly, I pulled the plug on that RM order this past Monday evening. RM Customer service has been very understanding. Credit should be posted by COB Friday. Meanwhile, USPS and the Postal Inspectors office were absolutely useless in supporting an investigation and getting an answer, even though their own system shows the coin “enroute”, yet still not delivered. Guess I’ll have to settle for the 1/2 oz UNC coins I ordered 2 weeks ago. Assuming they get here… eventually.

  4. Koichi Ito says

    So what retail price of 2013 Latvian Oh Holy Lestene gold coin if it is selling at Royal Scandinavian Mint? So I hope that this coin would be selling at RSM?

  5. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Samuel – So far, that order has not been cancelled. As a matter of fact, I checked on its status while closing out the other. I had commented shortly after placing that order that the RM Store was suddenly allowing out-of-region customers to place orders for that product; no blocks, no warnings during any part of the purchase process. I had thought early on that 250K units of that 20/20 coin is alot of sales within the UK.

  6. Louis says

    Greetings to all–
    The new RM christening coins strike me as overkill esp. so many different versions.
    I received my type set order from Perth. Very nice and also got the proof colored horse, which looks more different than you would think from the colored one in the set. Superb service, packing, etc., and no errors in the address!! Take note other world mints!

  7. says

    That is a beautiful coin, but 1.2442 grams is quite small. I googled around looking for non-stock photos and didn’t find any with a quick look, but I saw an eBay auction where the seller described this piece as the world’s smallest gold coin. Would love to see “in hand” pictures if anyone gets one of these.


    Really sorry to hear about your order ending up that way. At least you were able to get your money back!

  8. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Louis – I received my Perth Type Set and Colored PR coin Monday evening. Agreed that the colored PR and colored UNC are noticeably different. BTW – I also picked up one of the Green Turtle Coins. The coin is quite nice and the packaging is exquisite – polished wood with a burled koa inlay. I thought every aspect of the product was done quite nicely.

    @ C.O. Thanks for the kind words. I continue to be baffled at how the USPS will not own up to their responsibilities. But, as others have stated previously, the RM really needs to resolve this US Mailing Label issue.

    Did anyone notice that Perth is issuing the “10 Coin Lunar Set” next month? I know they issued that set for the Dragon, but I do not recall seeing it for the Snake. I mention it here because I’m kind of concerned about how many different ways they can present a colored horse, but especially when the horses on that coin are portrayed in a life-like setting. Yes, I realize there are many breeds w/ infinite coat colorings, but I think you get my point.

  9. says


    I mentioned in the thread about the typeset, I think. Not only are they doing a 10 coin color set, they’re also doing a 1/10th ounce, 10 coin colored gold horse set too. I’m expecting both products to sell poorly unless they only make 50-100 of them, and I’m expecting price for the gold coin set to be $2,500-$3,000.

    I am heartened to hear the colored proof and bullion coins are different. I was planning on grouping together my purchase of the high relief coin with the colored snake and horse next month.

  10. Louis says

    @VAB- Thanks for the turtle tip. I am giving that one thought. My condolences on all the RM issues, but at least you were made financially whole. I have not checked secondary prices lately but that is one option. It really is a great coin, much nicer than the christening ones or any other royal baby issues.

  11. fmtransmitter says

    Autumn Bliss should be here Thursday 10/10. Will post thoughts since I have not been able to get anyone else’s opinion on it…

  12. Rolling-Thunder says

    VABB – certain you would have rather received the coins, but happy you will at least be getting your money back! Hope you get your 1/2 ozs from RM.

    They should be well aware of their shipping label problems by now & fixing it fast – after all its costing them money too with refunds and re-shipping. And probably future sales too.

  13. Louis says

    FM- I said a while ago the autumn bliss is superb. The color has some relief to it, the ripples, and mirror-effect in the water are cool, the whole thing is just awesome and will be worth the wait. Got mine a few weeks ago.

  14. Koichi Ito says

    I wish that Royal Scandinavian Mint would sell Oh Holy Lestene 1 lats gold coin and other 2013 coin too?

  15. says


    I can’t say for sure but RSM does tend to carry a lot of Latvian releases, so I think there’s a good chance they may well carry this one too. I have no idea when they’ll get them, though, if they do.

  16. Louis says

    @FM- No problem at all. I would be interested to hear what you think. To me the only thing that would have made it better is a little bigger diameter to show off all the detail. It’s also a great example of a coin that uses color to excellent effect.

  17. fmtransmitter says

    @Louis: Not impressed at all. Just examined it under the 10X loupe. It is a gem proof I would say 70 grade BUT the effect of the reflection off the water is a joke. The ripples look like swipe marks. It was a sad attempt to try and make a beautiful drawing come through on a coin. the dpi (dots per inch) need to be smaller to create a clear (color). For instance, where the trees mirror the same scene on the water looks horrible. I will be selling this coin if the value does not increase. Seems enamel it the best way to get clear color on coins. Just read a huge article about colorizing and seems we have a long way to go to get there. Whomever invents the “correct” way to colorize will be a rich person IMHO of course.

  18. fmtransmitter says

    Got to if I want to learn..Ha..Just received an email from the New Zealand Mint. Seems they have released their Hammerhead and Piranha 1 oz silver colorized coins. Cool looking coins.

  19. Schalk says


    Apologies for the late reply. I have no idea what company sent the Royal Birth coins to NGC for grading. I would expect a considerable premium once they are offered to the market. I have sent mine in for PCGS grading and will let you know of the outcome.

  20. Koichi Ito says

    Dear owner of Royal Scandinavian Mint: please reserve 2013 Latvian Oh, Holy Lestene 1 Lats gold coin and last lats Latvian silver coin for me?

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