A new one-lat coin featuring a picture of a kliņģeris—a traditional pretzel-shaped bread as well a symbol for the breadmaker—has been issued by the Bank of Latvia.
Minted by Münze Österreich in Austria, the copper and nickel coin was crafted by Laimonis Šēnbergs and Jānis Strupulis, the bank said in a Dec. 14 press release. The reverse of the coin features the kliņģeris, but the obverse is the same as other one-lat coins.
The coin honors what the bank called a symbol that unites town and country. The kliņģeris represents the craftwork necessary to make it, is part of many celebrations and brings up associations with the symbol for infinity, the bank said. Different kinds of pretzel-shaped breads are known in Latvia, including the ūdenskliņģeris and the yellow svētku kliņģeris. Even a poor student’s failing grade is sometimes called a kliņģeris.
A total of 500,000 coins were minted, the bank said, and no more will be made. Although legal tender, the coin probably won’t be seen much in circulation, just like other recent special one-lat coins featuring such traditional Latvian symbols as the mythical character of Sprīdītis or the rooster atop the spire of St. Peter’s Church.
Issue of the kliņģeris coin came one day after the Bank of Latvia announced the availability of a gold one-lat coin honoring the Art Nouveau architecture of Rīga.
In November, the bank also issued commemmorative one-lat silver coins honoring the historic Hansa city of Koknese, Latvian writer Jānis Rainis and the upcoming 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Latvia.
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