The Bank of Estonia has released new silver Proof collector coins, which pay tribute to the country’s dedicated farming families who are some of the most prolific producers of food in the world. For most of Estonia’s history, it was agriculture which was the primary source of work and revenue for a country situated in Northern Europe just along the Baltic coast. Farming was, for centuries, the main activity of Estonian society and the farming family was at its heart. As with many countries during the Middle Ages and up to the era of national awakening, which led to the independence of several countries, the peasantry was essentially tied to the land in both a legal and practical sense. Estonia, in particular, was a land fought over by different outside armies. As a result of the foreign conquest that occurred in the thirteenth century, the Estonian rural population had fallen into serfdom, and the land was under Danish sovereignty. With Swedish rule being accepted in the mid 1500s, many peasants continued to live with their status as serfs but legal reforms strengthened both serfs’ and free tenant farmers’ land usage, which introduced land ownership and inheritance rights. During the Great Northern War of 1700-21, much of the Baltics were conquered by Imperial Russia. Between fighting and the Great Famine of 1695–97, the population was devastated and almost halved, affecting rural communities especially hard. During this era, local farmers’ rights reached their lowest point, as serfdom completely dominated agricultural relations during the 18th century. The practice of serfdom was formally abolished between the years 1816–1819, but this initial development in the countryside had very little practical effect overall in the country.
The farming families in Estonia would ultimately play a significant part in the national awakening when major improvements in farmers’ rights were introduced with reforms in the mid-19th century. At this time, leading figures in the national movement encouraged farmers to take pride in their ethnic Estonian identity. Today, as in most countries with a once-dominant rural and agricultural society where the majority of its citizens lived and thrived on a farmstead, the shift to an urban way of life is now predominant. However, as the need to improve and increase yield from the land with an ever-decreasing number of dedicated farmers and their families willing to devote all activities to agriculture, the importance of the farmer is becoming all too important in the 21st century. New sustainable methods of modern food production, which are in harmony with the land, have resulted in Estonia’s agriculture sector’s performance improving steadily in recent years. As such, Estonia’s rank remains first in the world in terms of per-capita farming output, producing large quantities of rice, wheat, cotton, meat, poultry, eggs, and fishery products. These figures are quite amazing considering the population of Estonia is just 1.2 million. Still, it is all literally thanks to today’s Estonian farmer and their tireless dedication to putting food on the tables not only for their countrymen but also for the world.
The silver Proof quality coins dedicated to the Estonian farming couple are produced by the Mint of Lithuania at their facilities in Vilnius on behalf of the Bank of Estonia. The coin is designed by Riho Luuse, who has created other collector coins for the Bank of Estonia. Featured in the centre on the obverse is a stylised image of a farming couple. Traditionally, they run the farm, make the decisions, own it, and take responsibility for its productivity. They are encircled by miniature images of farm buildings, domesticated animals, a creaking garden gate, farming implements and a well with a pump handle. On the right side, just above the farmer, is the denomination 14€. The reverse side of the coin depicts the coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia, which includes three heraldic lions passant with oak branches along both sides of the shield. Two barn swallows are shown just above the shield, and the year 2023 is placed to the right of the crest. The text EESTI VABARIIK is shown below the shield and along the lower edge.
|28.2 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information or to purchase the coin, residents in Estonia can visit the Bank of Estonia Museum shop at Estonia puiestee 11, Tallinn. Overseas collectors can contact the shop via e-mail at
Alternatively, current Estonian collector coins are also available from the Omniva Postal service numismatic website by clicking here.