Published: 10.03.2022

In the traditional public survey, the "Coin of Luck" won the title of Latvia's Coin of the Year 2021. In the public survey, organised by Latvijas Banka and the news portal Delfi.lv, a record number of voters took part – more than 35 000.

"Coin of Luck" voted Latvia's Coin of the Year 2021 obverse and reverse

The graphic design of the "Coin of Luck" has been created by Arvīds Priedīte, an experienced coin artist and the author of many collector coins issued by Latvijas Banka, whereas the author of the plaster model is Jānis Strupulis.

The message of the coin is that luck may very well be accidental. Unlike fortune, however, it requires you to grab opportunities when they present themselves. Sometimes fortune is just a fluke and simply falls into one's lap without any effort. Yet, luck is no fluke. A lilac flower with five petals is one of the symbols of luck. As the local tradition has it, when finding a five-petal flower, one should make a wish and eat the flower or dry it and keep it at hand.

The obverse of the coin features a five-petal lilac flower in colour print, whereas the reverse depicts a lilac panicle, with one lucky five-petal flower to be found within the entire cluster of tiny flowers.

"This year the annual coin survey took place in a turbulent time, which probably makes us look at luck with completely different eyes. Let the "Coin of Luck" serve us as a reminder and encouragement to share our success with those who currently need it much more," stresses Zita Zariņa, Member of the Council of Latvijas Banka. "I would like to congratulate the artists of the coin on the marvellous artistic accomplishment that brings Latvia's name far out into the world."

The expert commission of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA), composed of Māra Lāce, LNMA Director, Inese Baranovska, Head of the Decorative Art and Design Department, and Elita Ansone, Head of the Collections and Scientific Research Department, made its choice this year as well. The LNMA recognises the design of the coin "YES or YES" created by artists Krista and Reinis Dzudzilo as the most outstanding one in terms of artistic presentation – a convincingly concise and conceptual solution of the theme that joyfully attests the sacramental integrity of the two person's union, when the obverse and reverse become one.

Furthermore, SIA Tilde and the Culture Information Systems Centre, in cooperation with Latvia's libraries, organised an online quiz "Recognise the Cultural Symbols on Latvian Coins" (https://letonika.lv/spele). Overall, 460 participants took part in the game. They represented 99 libraries and played 4824 games. Five winners will each be awarded the collector coin "Miracle Coin".

Four collector coins dedicated to the Latvian culture and universal human values were issued in 2021:

Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 44 euro collector coins, with over 50 Latvian artists having participated in designing them.

Latvian coins have received high international recognition and a number of prestigious awards; moreover, the "Coin of Latvia" won the international 2010 Coin of the Year Award at the contest organised by US Krause Publications and its magazine World Coin News. In 2015, the silver collector coin "The Baltic Way" was recognised as the Best Contemporary Event Coin at this contest, whereas in 2018, the collector coin "National Entrepreneur" was named the Most Artistic Coin of the Year. At the competition Coin of the Year Awards (COTY) in 2020, the "Honey Coin", Latvijas Banka's collector coin, was announced the world's Most Artistic Coin and the Coin of the Year.

The Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka (the former Commission for the Thematic Concept of the Banknotes and Coins), which has been active since 12 November 1993, plays an important role in the coin issuing process. The Commission consists of the employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian experts of art and culture as well as artists and scientists.

For reference

The collector coin "Linden leaf" (video) dedicated to ecology was voted Latvia's Coin of the Year 2020. Overall, the public vote organised by Latvijas Banka and the news portal Delfi.lv received nearly 8000 votes, including approximately 2800 votes cast in favour of the coin "Linden leaf". The author of the graphic design of the collector coin "Linden leaf" is architect Mārcis Kalniņš, the plaster model was created by Ligita Franckeviča, and the coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).

Since 2004, when Latvijas Banka organised the first public vote, the following coins have been named Latvia's Coin of the Year: "Coin of Time", "Baron Münchhausen", "Coin of Digits", "Coin of Time II", "Lucky Coin", "Coin of Water", "Amber Coin", "Fog mists the pane", "5-lats silver collector coin", "Baby Coin", "Baroque of Courland", "Fairy Tale Coin I. Five cats", "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat", "Smith Forges in the Sky" and "Honey Coin".