February 16, 2012
In continuing with a series of unusual commemorative coins celebrating non-metal elements and concepts, the Bank of Latvia has issued the Coin of Stone (Akmens monēta), which has a granite center.
The central bank has already released three versions of the Coin of Time (I, II and III, all of which were partially minted with niobium metal), the Coin of Digits, the Coin of Water and the Coin of Amber (which had a small piece of amber in the middle).
Although dated 2011, the silver and granite 1 lat coin (with a silver content of 13.6 grams), was issued last month. The coin was designed by Laimonis Šēnbergs, the modeling was done by Jānis Strupulis and the coin was minted by Rahapaja Oy in Finland. The coin is of proof quality and has a mintage of 7,000.
The Coin of Stone is the first commemorative release by the Bank of Latvia in 2012. Other coins to be issued this year will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Rīga Technical University; the 100th anniversary of the Rīga Zoo; the 90th anniversary of Latvian currency; Latvian Olympic athletes; the creative work of author Rūdolfs Blaumanis and sculptor Kārlis Zāle (designer of the Freedom Monument and Cemetery of the Brethren or Brāļu kapi); and Latvian cultural traditions.
Coins may be purchased at the Bank of Latvia, as well as numismatic shops in Latvia.
Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.
The latest commemorative coin issued by the Bank of Latvia features a granite center. (Images courtesy of the Bank of Latvia)