"Cat's Mill" is named Latvian coin of the year

The collector coin titled "Cat's Mill" dedicated to the literary work of the Latvian poet, prose-writer and politician Kārlis Skalbe (1879–1945) has been voted Latvia's Coin of the Year 2019 in public vote, the Latvian central bank (Latvijas Banka, LB) announced April 14.

Overall, the public vote organised by Latvijas Banka and the news portal Delfi received nearly 6,000 votes, including about 2,200 votes cast in favour of the coin "Cat's Mill".

The graphic design of the collector coin "Cat's Mill" was created by Elīna Brasliņa, in her debut in coin art. She is publicly known as a book illustrator: more than 20 children's books with Elīna Brasliņa's illustrations, including the "Art Detectives" series, have already been published. Her first animated film "Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs" was also recently released.

The coin features the Cat, Black Cat and King – the characters of the fairy tale "Cat's Mill" contained in Kārlis Skalbe's collection "Winter Tales" (1913) that has been included in the Latvian Cultural Canon.

"It is symbolic that we announce the coin of 2019 in these globally challenging times when universal human values, including empathy, care for those in need of help, readiness to make sacrifices for the common good, once again come to the fore. Fairy tales by Kārlis Skalbe contain a moral code which, deeply rooted in the consciousness of our nation, helps and invigorates people in hard times," said Jānis Blūms, Chairman of the Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka in an analogy that possibly over-stretches the significance of a simple online vote about nice-looking coins.

Meanwhile a coin dedicated to the creative heritage of Niklāvs Strunke (1894–1966), Latvian painter, graphic artist and stage designer, was deemed the most outstanding coin in terms of artistic solution by a panel of art-world experts.

Out of all the registered participants in the vote for the best collector coin of 2019, twelve will receive one of the nominated coins. The list of the winners will be published on www.bank.lv, and the winners will be contacted personally with information about how to claim their prizes.

Four collector coins were issued in 2019. Since 2004, when Latvijas Banka organised the first public vote, the following coins have been named Latvia's Coin of the Year: "Coin of Time", "Baron Münchhausen", "Coin of Digits", "Coin of Time II", "Lucky Coin", "Coin of Water", "Amber Coin", "Fog mists the pane", "5-lats silver collector coin", "Baby Coin", "Baroque of Courland", "Fairy Tale Coin I. Five cats", "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat", "Smith Forges in the Sky" and "Honey Coin".

Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 35 euro collector coins.

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