June 11, 2012
The Bank of Latvia has released two new Latvian coins – a circulation 1 Lats coin with an image of a hedgehog, as well as 1 Lats silver commemorative coin celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Rīga Zoo.
As per the Bank of Latvia website “The hedgehog inhabits deciduous groves, bushes, edges of forests and often dwells also in parks and gardens close to people. The white-chested hedgehog, which is slightly stouter and with light-coloured hair on its belly and head, is found all over Latvia, whereas the brown-chested one is much more rare and is found mostly in Northern Vidzeme.”
The designers of the coin are Andris Vītoliņš (graphic design) and Laura Medne (plaster model). The cupro-nickel coin was struck in 2012 by Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg (Germany).
Also on the subject of animals, the silver (.925 fineness) proof coin commemorating the Rīga Zoo, designed by Ivars Mailītis (graphic design) as well as Ligita Franckeviča and Ivars Mailītis (plaster model), was struck by Rahapaja Oy (Finland).
According to the Bank of Latvia website, “the Zoo boasts new state-of-the art [buildings] – Giraffe House, Tropical House, Farmstead, Tiger Enclosure etc. The Zoo’s collection currently comprises 3 200 animals of 420 species, and about one third of the species are capable of producing offspring, which highlights the professional skills and love of animals of the people taking care of them.”
The hedgehog coin can be bought at Bank of Latvia locations for face value, and the Rīga Zoo coin can also be purchased at Bank of Latvia locations as well as numismatic shops.
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.
Rīga Zoo 100th Anniversary 1 Lats coin.