When Latvia adopted the euro at the beginning of 2014, the country said goodbye to the lats denomination but kept the nation’s famous symbol of freedom, using the Folk Maiden design for the 1-euro and 2-euro coins.
Editor’s note: The following is the final piece of a three-part Coin World series about Latvia’s folk maiden as she appears on coins, prepared by Jeff Starck for the July 2014 monthly edition of Coin World.
Other posts in the series include:
When Latvia began using the euro on Jan. 1, 2014, a popular symbol celebrating the triumph of freedom in that Eastern Bloc nation returned to circulation.
On that date, Latvia’s folk maiden, an iconic symbol of freedom and, some say, love returned to the nation’s daily coinage some 70 years after war forced into hiding the prior circulating silver coins with the famous design.
The design appeared originally in 1929 on what may still be the most popular of Latvian coins, a silver 5-lats coin. Since then, it has been used for a gold 5-lats collector coin and a silver 5-lats collector coin in modern times and, now, on circulating 1-euro and 2-euro coins from Latvia.
The stories behind the design and the woman who inspired the motif are timeless.
Nation’s euro coins connect to historical issues
The 2014 1-euro and 2-euro coins of Latvia are affordable, readily available options for collectors seeking a coin showing the Folk Maiden design.
The start of the new year marked a new beginning for Latvia, as the nation became the 18th member of the eurozone Jan. 1.
Latvia’s adoption of the euro took place 10 years after Latvia joined the European Union amid the largest expansion of the body.
The coins were minted at the State Mints of Baden-Wuerttemberg, at the facilities in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, Germany, beginning July 31, 2013.