Last month, the Bank of Latvia released a new collector coin commemorating 150 years of firefighting in Latvia. The coin honors firefighters and rescuers for their professionalism and heroic acts of bravery for the good of the nation.
In Latvia, the very first firefighters’ brigade was formed in 1845 in Daugavpils, then Dinaburg of Vitebsk gubernia. The first firefighting unit in Riga emerged in 1864; the first fire it extinguished on May 17, 1865 was located in the old town. Riga was immediately followed by Mītava (currently Jelgava), with volunteer fire brigades forming one after another and putting out flames elsewhere in Latvia. Prior to World War II, there were well over 200 firefighting brigades all in all.
The obverse design of the coin features firefighter’s symbols against a background of flames with firemen on the left and right. A crossed oak branch motif appears at the bottom. The semi-circled inscription UGUNSDZĒSĪBAI LATVIJĀ (Firefighting in Latvia) is placed at the top, with the figure150 beneath it. The year 2015 is inscribed in the lower part of the obverse.
The reverse design features an image of a fully equipped firefighting team in a horse drawn cart. The lower part features the semi-circled inscription 5 EURO.
The edge bears the inscriptions LATVIJAS BANKA and LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA, separated by rhombic dots.
Each coin is struck in 92.5% silver to proof quality. The weight is 22.00 grams and the diameter is 35.00 mm. The graphic design has been created by Henrihs Vorkals, and the author of the plaster model is Ligita Franckeviča. The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).
A maximum mintage of 10,000 pieces has been established. The collector coins are on sale at Cashier’s Offices of the Bank of Latvia priced at 35.99 euro.