Stork coin takes wing from central bank

Numismatists have barely had a chance to gather their wits after the launch of Latvia's 'cat coin' last week sent them into a feline frenzy, but already the central bank is preparing to set them all a-flutter again with another piece of limited edition loose change: a €2 coin with a stork on it. 

On Tuesday, 1 December 2015, Latvijas Banka will start issuing a 2 euro commemorative coin featuring a nesting stork.

One million examples will be put into general circulation and 10,000 extra-shiny uncirculated quality coins in special souvenir packing will also be on sale (7.30 euro each at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices).

10,000 special sets of nine Latvian euro circulation coins, including the commemorative coin "The Stork", will also be available (19.00 euro each at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices).

The image of a nesting stork, designed by Olga Šilova, featured on the very first 1 lats coin introducing Latvijas Banka's special series of 1 lats circulation coins, and has returned as if from a lengthy migration to live again on the new 2 euro commemorative coin.

"In Latvia, storks are symbolically associated with long life and faithfulness. Not only in Latvia but also for many other nations, the stork, known also as svētelis in Latvian, is presumed to be a saintly bird, and blessed is the house which storks choose for nesting. At times when the nation's survival is questioned, households blessed with children become nationally meaningful," muses Latvijas Banka in its official explanation.

"It is similarly meaningful that the designs of Latvian money, now a part of the Latvian Cultural Canon, start living a second life on the euro, thus winning recognition for the DNA of the Latvian national culture across the entire euro area. Money is a medium of payment and saving; its design, at the same time, represents the country and its sustainable continuance, with nature conservation as a precondition," the central bank adds.

According to Viesturs Ķerus of the Latvian Ornithological Society, around 14 thousand pairs of white storks and 180-240 pairs of black storks are nesting in the territory of Latvia at present.

"Either white storks in the fields or black ones from forest tracts of Latvia, the people of Latvia are deeply concerned about the population of these birds, and those who generally care for birds are members of the Latvian Ornithological Society for 30 years now. Over time, the number of white storks has markedly increased, while that of the black storks has undergone a dramatic decline.

"On numerous occasions, the population of storks and birds in general is nowadays affected by unreasonable money chasing; admittedly, nature conservation without funding nowadays is not conceivable either. Therefore, we are glad that Latvijas Banka is issuing this coin to serve as a symbolic reminder that financial capability is crucial for well-being while preserving Latvia's natural wealth as its integral part," said Ķerus.

The next 2 euro commemorative coin to expand the central bank's menagerie will be of a cow.

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