New 'centenary WiFi' coin available for collectors

The Latvian central bank (Latvijas banka, LB) on December 1 revealed the faces of a new collector coin in its rapidly growing portfolio of numismatic offerings.

Titled "The First Session of LPNC", the coin is dedicated to the first session of the Latvian Provisional National Council (LPNC) held in Valka 100  years ago, as outlined in our current feature.

It goes on sale on Monday, 4 December and was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).

Surprisingly for a coin commemorating events of 100 years ago, the obverse of the coin features the Wi-Fi symbol, with an inscription "Long live the free and united Latvia!" arranged in two lines in a semi-circle above it, written in old-style Latvian.

The reason for the Wi-Fi symbol is explained in this accompanying promotional video produced by LB in which the designer Ivars Drulle explains it is something to do with the fact that "Valka was the place which sent a very strong signal to all of Latvia." WiFi therefore is a symbol of a strong signal, he reasons.

 

An inscription "Walka" is featured beneath the symbol, with the year 1917 placed below that.

In November 2017, the territory of the present-day Latvia had been split by the battle-front of World War I. After the fall of Riga to German forces, Valka became the center of Latvian social, political and cultural life.

On 29 November–2 December, 1917, the first session of LPNC was held in Valka, with representatives of almost all major Latvian organisations and political parties taking part in it. In its appeal "To all Latvians!" and declaration "To countries and nations abroad" the Council urged Latvians to exercise their right to self-determination in their own state. Thus the first session of LPNC was a crucial event towards establishing Latvia's statehood.

The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 3,000 examples and the price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashiers' Offices is 45 euro.

The coin will also be available at such traditional points of sale as numismatic shops, book stores and souvenir and jewelry shops.

Latvijas banka collector coin
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