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
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.