The Bank of Latvia has issued a new silver collector coin dedicated to Gotthard Friedrich Stender, known as Vecais Stenders or “Old Stenders.” The release coincides with the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Latvian writer, linguist, thinker, and founder of Latvian secular literature.
The obverse design features an image taken from the title page of the first edition of Old Stender’s A Book of High Wisdom on the World and Nature. A pastor is depicted showing a boy how full of wonders the world is. In a semi-circle near to the top of the coin are the inscriptions “2014” and “LATVIJA”.
The book represented the first peasant encyclopedia in Europe, containing explanations of natural phenomenon and the basic principles of physics and astronomy, including the rotation of the earth on its axis and around the sun. This concept is represented on the reverse of the coin.
The reverse design features the progressive idea of the world, the heliocentric concept of the universe. Included within the image are the “G. F. Stender” and “Latwis”. Additional inscriptions appearing in a semi-circle read “VECAIS STENDERS” and the denomination “5 euro”.
The edge of the coin contains the inscriptions “LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA” and “LATVIJAS BANKA”, separated by rhombic dots.
Each coin is struck in 92.5% silver to proof quality by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt. The weight is 22 grams and the diameter is 35 mm.
The new collector coins went on sale at Bank of Latvia Cashier Offices on September 4, 2014. The price of the coin at these locations is 41.07 euro.