Minted! Central bank confirms selling limited edition coin to own employees

Around 400 special collector coins lauding entrepreneurship have been sold to the Latvian central bank's (Bank of Latvia) own employees, putting the number sold to the general public at about a mere 900 of the 3,000 coin release, reported LSM's Russian-language service Friday, citing an anonymous source. 

UPDATE: Later Friday the bank said in a statement on its official website that 403 of the coins indeed were sold to Bank of Latvia employees, without however reason why they weren't instead made available to the public at large.

"In accordance with the September 2, 2016 agreement with the LTRK [Chamber of Commerce and Industry], half of the release or 1,500 coins were sold to LTRK. A total of 1369 'National entrepreneur' coins were to be sold at Bank of Latvia registers. Of these, 403 were sold to Bank of Latvia employees for the retail price and limited to one coin [per individual], while 96 were sold through reservations on the website. 14 are for museums as well as artists and art experts involved in making the coin. The Bank of Latvia retained 117 coins," the bank stated.

Previously it emerged that businessman Raimonds Garkāns had bought 1,000 of the coins under an agreement with Bank of Latvia President Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, while the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry fetched another 500. Latvia's central bank initially denied any knowledge about the deal.

"The number of coins released was extremely low, and the Bank of Latvia reserved coins for its own people. It doesn't worry the Bank of Latvia that collectors will not have enough. They've started making coins for themselves," the source said.

"It's a good bonus if you can buy a coin for €67 knowing its price will increase greatly," said a source who is well-versed in Latvian numismatics and gave the initial tip-off about the coins being sold to Garkāns in bulk. 

According to rus.lsm.lv estimates, about 400 coins of the recent release indeed cannot be accounted for as about 900 were sold to the general public, 1,500 were sold to Garkāns and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce, and about 200 are kept in reserve stock by the bank.

The bank said that each employee was allowed to buy a single coin but declined to say how many were sold this way. The bank's spokesman Jānis Silakalns said that the bank doesn't comment rumors and unofficial information.

Nor did Silakalns provide any information if selling to central bank employees has happened with any of the many previous 'limited edition' coins.

Since 1993, the bank has issued 112 different collector coins, details of which are available HERE.

There were 540 employees at Latvia's central bank in late 2015, according to its annual statement.

LSM has sent an official letter to the bank asking for confirmation of how many coins were sold to the general public and how many were reserved for the bank's employees.

As previously reported by LSM, the unusual coin honoring entrepreneurs came with the following declaration: 

"The collector coin 'National Entrepreneur' is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia (it is unlikely, however, to come into general circulation for, by nature, such collector coins are works of art and enjoy high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 3,000 coins."

Central bank employees presumably are included as "interested parties."

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