World Coins

Three Baltic states to share €2 coin design in 2018

The three Baltic states will make euro coinage history in 2018.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will issue a common circulating commemorative €2 coin celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Latvian and Estonian states and the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of Lithuanian statehood.

The design depicts the Baltic “sisters” by their coats of arms, on separate sashes that then join into a single braid, resembling plaited hair and representing the three nations’ shared history — a common past, present, and future.

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The design was chosen in an online vote held from March 21 to April 5, with 14,302 votes from around the world coming from every continent except Antarctica.

In total, 4,277 votes were cast for the winning design, the first coin design created by the young Lithuanian designer Justas Petrulis.

Six potential designs, two from each country, were available for consideration on the voting website

This is the first €2 commemorative coin with a design chosen jointly by the population of the three Baltic states. Previous joint circulating commemorative €2 coin programs have involved all eurozone nations. 

Each of the three Baltic countries will issue the chosen design, with the only difference being the name of issuer. The coin will be valid across all nations of the eurozone. 

A press release from Latvijas Bank states: “This coin will remind the population of the Baltic States and elsewhere in the euro area of the determination of the Baltic nations to defend their independence. At the same time, the coin is a testimony of the unity of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and their readiness to cooperate for the sake of their independence and freedom.”

Voters became eligible for a drawing to win one of 100 special souvenir packs containing three Brilliant Uncirculated coins (one coin from each country). Drawing winners’ names will be published on the website (where terms and conditions of the drawing are now available). Winners will receive their prizes in early 2018 when the coins are issued. 

Each year, each nation using the euro may issue up to two €2 circulation coins of a special or commemorative design, as well as mint another commemorative coin in a joint program of several euro area countries, provided such a program is organized.

The €2 coin weighs 8.5 grams and measures 25.75 millimeters in diameter. 

The other design options

The other design options featured various symbols playing on the theme of Baltic unity.

One option depicts a woven folk sash, a symbol unifying the Baltic states. It is often used to celebrate special anniversaries. 

Another design resembles a sun; the lettering of the names of the three nations, along with a numeral 100, form the rays. It is said to wish the Baltic states a bright and sunny future.

Another design option represents the three Baltic states by three hands that together symbolically hold and protect freedom. The design is reminiscent of a vortex, spinning clockwise. 

In one design, three pine canopies follow the border contours of the Baltic states, while the tree’s trunks vary in thickness according to the population of each country. 

Another design option features the three Baltic states as three branches of the Tree of Light. The tree symbolizes “the strength, toughness, and will of the Baltic nations,” according to the website.

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