New coins honor chimney sweeps, basketball

Lucky Latvia is getting a million chimney sweeps—pictured on the back of a new 1-lat coin just released by the central bank in Rīga.

The coin is the latest in a series of special 1-lat pieces issued by the Bank of Latvia, a spokesperson said in a Dec. 3 press release.

The image of the chimney sweep, who brings fortune and symbolizes success, was designed by Daina Lapiņa. She previously designed the snowman 1-lat coin released in 2007. The plaster model for the chimney sweep coin was created by Laura Medne. The coin is made of copper and nickel and minted by Finland’s Rahapaja Oy, which has struck many of Latvia’s coins.

Circulation of the coin will be limited to 1 million, according to the press release, which should ensure that collectors who want to add the piece will be able to do so. The coin will be rarely seen in cash transactions, much like the other special coins the bank has issued in recent years.

At the same time, the central bank announced release of a 1-lat commemorative “lucky coin” (laimes monēta). The silver proof coin is designed by Arvīds Priedīte. On its averse, the coin features a cat perched on a rooftop, while the reverse shows a chimney sweep atop a chimney.

The coin’s plaster model was created by Jānis Strupulis. The coin has a limited circulation of 5,000 and is minted by Rahapaja Oy. It will be available for sale at the Bank of Latvia and in specialty shops.

The Bank of Latvia on Nov. 20 also released a 1-lat silver proof coin commemorating the sport of basketball. Franceska Kirke is credited with the coin’s graphic design and Ligita Franckevica made the plaster model. Rahapaja Oy also minted the basketball coin, which has a limited circulation of 5,000. Likewise, it will be available for sale at the central bank and in specialty shops.

Description of image

A chimney sweep is pictured on a new 1-lat coin released by the Bank of Latvia.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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