Holy cow - it's another new coin!

The Latvian central bank on July 19 unveils its latest commemorative coin - this time paying homage to our bovine brothers.

While previous Latvian coins have featured more exalted and more exotic members of the currency menagerie such as storks, salmon, cats, frogs and the entire contents of Riga zoo, the latest offering is dedicated to the humble cow, without which we would lack such essentials as cream, cheese, butter and rare T-bone steaks.

"On Tuesday, 19 July 2016, Latvijas Banka is issuing a 2 euro commemorative coin featuring a cow," the central bank said in a release before launching into a more detailed account of how the cud-chewing currency had come to be. 

"The image of a cow, the symbol of Latvian farming and the countryside, once authored by Gunārs Lūsis (graphic design) and Jānis Strupulis (plaster model) and featured on the 2 lats circulation coin, has been restored to live again on the 2 euro commemorative coin," the bank said.

"For long, cows have been important not only for the country's economy but also as an integral part of the countryside routine. The Latvian Brown, which is the main breed of dairy cows in Latvia, is a productive and resilient animal of relatively low maintenance and long life span, well-adapted to the local climate.

"The human eye is pleased to spot one when lazily browsing a field or rural scenery," the state bean-counters muse.

"The poet Imants Ziedonis who played an important role in formulating philosophical imaginary of the designs on the renewed lats banknotes and coins, has poetically represented the interrelation between the human and cow's life cycle," the bank rhapsodises before quoting the poet:

And while a wee brown calf
trundles through a brown cow,
you too have time
to till the future now.

1 million cow coins will be produced and will be available for exchange at the Cashier's Offices of Latvijas Banka in Riga and Liepāja.

Strong demand is expected for the coins among coin collectors - and indeed cow collectors - even while the dairy sector struggles for profitability. Hopefully at least some of the coins will be used to buy local milk. 

Later this year, Latvijas Banka is planning to issue another 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the Vidzeme region which, coincidentally, quite a few cows call home.

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