By Bank of Latvia ….
On Thursday, 10 November, Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Banka) is issuing a new 5 euro gold collector coin “Gold Brooches: The Disc Fibula”. The coin replicating a third to fourth century disc fibula is the first in the series of euro gold collector coins dedicated to Latvia’s brooches and the country’s centenary. It has also been planned to issue within this series collector coins replicating the horseshoe and bubble fibulae.
The event program for Latvia’s centenary celebration is based on the concept of involving the general public, each individual and institution in the process of creating the celebration and the associated long-lasting values. Preparations for Latvia’s centenary will commence with the tasks and events planned already for 2017, but the festivities and activities celebrating Latvia will continue for five years. The Latvian Bank will contribute to Latvia’s centenary program by ensuring research on significant developments in the financial history of Latvia and assessment of the contribution of outstanding personalities. Also, a number of commemorative and collector coin series and several coins dedicated to the establishment of an independent state will be created. Bank of Latvia will conclude Latvia’s centenary celebration by marking the 100th anniversary of the central bank on 1 November 2022.
The graphic design of the coin “Gold Brooches: The Disc Fibula” has been created by Ingūna Elere but the plaster model is by Solvita Rulle. Ingūna Elere is one of the designers of the internationally highly appreciated multimedia exhibition “Money Design. PIN Code” and the designer of the book “Ls • 20. Nacionālās valūtas mākslas gadi” (Ls • 20. National Banknote and Coin Art).
The coin “Gold Brooches: The Disc Fibula” has been minted by the Austrian Mint. The following inscriptions are placed on the obverse of the gold coin: “#Latvija”, “#ripsakta”, “#3_4gs”, “5 euro” and “#2016”, but the reverse features an image of a disc fibula.
According to the concept of artist Ingūna Elere, the brooch featured on the coin provides centuries-old information, while the hashtags highlighting the times we live in are located on the obverse of the coin. The artist emphasizes that the “brooch tells a story about the third and fourth centuries, but the reverse of the coin – about the present day, i.e. how we communicate in the virtual environment and social networks, and how we select topics important to us.”
The history of the brooch in the territory of Latvia began with various brooches from the early Iron Age (first through fourth century CE) – the so-called eye fibulae, tutulus fibulae, cross-ribbed fibulae, arbalest fibulae and round disc fibulae with openwork wheel, cross and fire cross motifs. The older brooches were imported, but soon the local craftsmen began to use them as models to make their own brooches, with their form reflecting the local aesthetic and mental concepts. Brooches were used to fasten and adorn clothing by all – men, women and children. The form of and ornamentation on brooches also served a protective function (jewelry as amulet). The form, size and material may have changed, yet the brooches have remained popular until the present day.
The disc fibula, a singular find in Dzelzava’s Jaunzemji graveyard in Madona region, is a special one, both laconic and luxurious at the same time: the openwork on its disc surface forms a complex geometrical ornament. The disc fibula and its ornamentation may have also served as an amulet, reflecting the sun cult which was gaining importance in the crop-growing society. It is also associated with rotation, dynamism and continuity.
The collector coin “Gold Brooches: The Disc Fibula” is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia, yet the release of such coins in circulation is highly unlikely, as they are in fact works of art and are in special demand among coin collectors and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is 7,000.
The price of the coin at Latvian Bank Cashier’s Offices is 170.00 euro. Beginning with 10 November, the coin will be on sale at the Bank’s Cashier’s Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja); today from 11.00 it can also be reserved via the collector coin and other numismatic product online reservation service under the Collector Coins Section of the bank’s website. This system provides an important advantage for customers, i.e. they have an opportunity to purchase new collector coins and various numismatic products in a convenient way in their own time without queueing. It is most likely to suit the needs of customers, e.g. from regions, who are busy on the initial days of launching a new coin or due to other reasons cannot visit the Cashier’s Offices of the Bank of Latvia.
The coin will also be available at such traditional points of sale as numismatic shops, book stores and souvenir and jewelry shops. Collector coins and other numismatic products are for sale also online.
Information about the collector coins currently on sale at Cashier’s Offices is available at https://monetas.bank.lv/en/coins-for-sale. It shows that a vast range of thematically and artistically diverse collector and commemorative coins are still available.