Modern silver, gold commemorative coins bring Latvia's iconic folk maiden back to life

From “Latvia’s folk maiden” in July 7, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 06/20/14
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In addition to the size and metal composition, the coin differs from the original 5-lats coin in that the edge of the gold coin is reeded. 

The gold coin is infrequently encountered in the marketplace, and a current market value could not be determined. The value of the gold alone for the 25th-ounce coin is about $51 in U.S. funds at press time.

To mark the 90th anniversary of the Bank of Latvia, the bank issued a Proof .925 fine silver 5-lats coin using the original models produced in 1929.

The coin was struck by the Royal Mint, continuing the ties between the original coins and the modern era. 

When the ceremonial first strike of the coin was held May 28, 2012, the Royal Mint Museum displayed the original drawing and plasters, the first time they had been on display. 

Aside from the higher fineness, the 2012 silver coin has the same weight and size as the historic issue (25 grams, 37 millimeters in diameter). 

The design is the same, except for the 2012 year date on the obverse.

The edge inscription translating to “God Save Latvia,” made a return appearance, separated by three hexagonal (six-pointed) stars.

The 2012 coin had a maximum mintage limit of 4,000 pieces. Current market value appears to have settled at around $150 U.S., based on recent online auction transactions.

The Folk Maiden design is so popular that it was used also for the circulating 500-lats bank note issued after Latvia regained independence following the fall of the Soviet Union. The design was in use through the end of 2013, at which time the euro was adopted. 

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