The supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) have confirmed the winning designs in their competition for the €2 coin dedicated to the centenary anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, which will be officially celebrated in February 2018. (This coin is separate from the joint commemorative issue of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, reported here, and from the Estonian coin commemorating the events leading up to independence, reported here.)
Estonian Independence was declared from Russia on the 24th February 1918, which is the day that is celebrated (the declaration was officially recognised by the Treaty of Tartu on the 2nd February 1920). This self-determination was short-lived, with Soviet forces occupying Estonia along with Latvia and Lithuania in 1944 when all three Baltic States were illegally incorporated into the USSR. Estonian independence would not be re-established until 1991, when the USSR once again recognised all three Baltic States as independent. Estonia is a member of the EU and NATO since 2004.
The €2 coin will feature the jubilee’s official national logo, which can be read as the numbers 18 and 100. This trick with the numbers unites the year of the state’s founding with the centenary anniversary. The winning designers are Ionel Lehari and Meelis Opmann of the concept-and-design agency Identity OÜ, which is also the agency behind the official logo for the Estonian centenary. Second place in the design competition went to Riho Luuse, and third to Heino Prunsvelt.
Estonia’s €2 commemorative coin, which will be a circulation coin within the euro-zone area, will have the usual common reverse side and a special commemorative design on the national or obverse side. As the coin is intended to symbolise and honour the people of Estonia, the mintage will be 1,317,800—the population of Estonia recorded on the 1st January 2017, according to data from Statistics Estonia. The coin will enter into circulation in early 2018 and will be valid as legal tender throughout the euro-zone area.
Once the coin is released, the winning designers will receive a prize of €2,000. The second-place design will win €700, and the third-place design, €500. Where designers have worked together on a single design, they will share the prize money. In total, there were 33 entries in the design competition for the €2 commemorative coin.
Please visit the website of the Bank of Estonia for more information on this and other coins it issues. ❑