Heads we win, tails you lose: Latvia's "honey coin" acclaimed by world's collectors

Take note – story published 3 years ago

For the second time in history a coin issued by the Latvian central bank (Latvijas Banka, LB) has been recognised as the Coin of the Year. 

The innovative Honey Coin, created by the designer Artūrs Analts, won "by a very wide margin" according to LB in a press release.

"Last week, the award winners of the 37th competition Coin of the Year Awards (COTY), presented by the numismatics magazine World Coin News, were announced at the World Money Fair in Berlin. This contest is the world's most prestigious international coin competition, and Latvijas Banka collector coins have already been quite successful there before. For example, in 2010, the Coin of Latvia was recognised the Coin of the Year. In 2015, the silver collector coin The Baltic Way was recognised the Best Contemporary Event Coin at this contest, while in 2018, the collector coin National Entrepreneur was announced the Most Artistic Coin of the Year," explained LB before getting to the nub of the matter.

"In October 2019, out of more than 1000 coins issued all over the world in 2018, the COTY Nomination Committee selected 10 coins in each of the award categories. In the next round of assessment of the selected 100 coins, an international panel of judges recognised the Honey Coin (videocoin website) the winner in the category Most Artistic Coin and also the Coin of the Year," said LB. 

The Honey Coin, a gold plated silver collector coin with the face value of 5 euro, had been previously recognised the winner of Latvia's Coin of the Year 2018 award. This coin is based on Artūrs Analts' work which was awarded the first prize in the competition for the best design of an innovative collector coin. The Honey Coin is dedicated to ecology, highlighting the role of bees in preserving biodiversity, as reported by LSM at the time of its introduction.

Coin of the Year
Coin of the Year

Indeed, so special is the bee-based coinage that LB has produced not one but two videos extolling its virtues and showing how its distinctive honeycomb form was created.

Nor is that the only ray of numismatic glory in which the central bank is basking. As well as winning the numismatic world's equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar, the Latvian central bank's trophy cabinet will be in danger of collapse due to the weight of awards recently given to LB in Russia.

"In January, we also learned that coins issued by Latvijas Banka had gained recognition at Coin Constellation – 2019, an international collector coin contest organised by the Water Mark Publishing House (Russia). More than 220 collector and circulation coins, issued in 2018, were nominated for the contest," recounted the central bank.

"At the Coin Constellation contest, the Honey Coin was awarded the first place in the category Unique Concept. The collector coin Curonian Kings, created by artists Arvīds Priedīte (the graphic design) and Ligita Franckeviča (the plaster model), was awarded the first place in the category Coin Classic. The Coats of Arms Coin, created by artists Laimonis Šēnbergs (the graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (the plaster model), was awarded the second place in the category Silver Coin of the Year. The collector coin Gold Brooches. The Bubble Fibula, created by Ingūna Elere (the graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (the plaster model), was awarded the third place in the category Gold Coin of the Year. The 2 euro commemorative coin with common design Centenary of the Baltic States, issued by the central banks of the Baltic States, was awarded the third place in the category The Best Circulation Coin."

That's a lot of coin awards.

Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 35 euro collector coins, with over 50 Latvian artists having participated in designing them.

For information on the collector coins on sale at e-monetas.lv and the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka, see https://www.e-monetas.lv.


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