The Bank of Latvia have issued (4th December 2012) a new commemorative coin with a special festive design to mark the Christmas holiday. As with last year’s motif, the Bank of Latvia have included a familiar holiday design – this year depicting chiming bells as those celebrating and participating in the time-honored tradition will be acquainted with.
Bells themselves have a very long background associated with festivals and marking notable events. It is known that Pagan cultures used to ring bells in order to scare away evil spirits in the dark autumn & winter nights. With the spreading of Christianity, bells were included in Churches and were used as heralds of various significant developments such as approaching danger, the beginning of festivities, the birth of Princes or the death of a ruler as well as other important events. Later on the chiming became associated with festive occasions, particularly with Christmas time, rather than with imminent danger. During the reign of Queen Victoria, people in Great Britain used small bells to accompany Christmas carols as they were lighter and cheaper than traditional musical instruments.
The 2012 Christmas Bells 1 Lats Coin was designed by Holgers Elers and includes a clutch of two bells complete with festive bow at the top and centered in the very middle of the coin. To the lower right of the principle design is the coin’s face value of “1 LATS.” The reverse side depicts the larger version of the Latvian coat of arms with the year “2012” inscribed below, the crest is placed in the center. The inscriptions “LATVIJAS” and “REPUBLIKA” each arranged in a semicircle, are above and beneath the central motif respectively.
Struck by the Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg, Germany on behalf of the Bank of Latvia to uncirculated quality in cupro-nickel, the weight of the coin is 4.8 grams and the diameter is 21.7 mm. A total mintage is authorized at 1 million pieces.
For more information on this and other coins offered by the Bank of Latvia, please visit their website at: http://www.bank.lv/en/money/collector-coins-at-the-bank-of-latvia-cashiers-offices Information is offered in English and some international orders can be fulfilled by contacting their Cashier’s office.