Tomorrow (December 22), the Bank of Latvia will issue a new coin that has been described as employing a process for coin production not previously seen, integrating both metal and translucent ceramic material to produce a single piece that offers an extraordinary display to befittingly feature humankind’s home, the planet Earth.
The collector coin, entitled “The Earth,” consists of a translucent PERLUCOR ceramic center with a silver outer ring. The symbolic Earth at the middle of the coin points to its place in the system of human values and its existential integrity. The jewel-like Earth is enclosed by a diaphanous veil representing the universe in which the planet Earth floats as an island of life.
The creator of the design making its worldwide debut in coin art is Latvian architect M. Kalniņš. The artist’s original idea of a translucent coin came out as top winner at Latvijas Banka’s competition of innovative euro coins in 2015. The material used for the center of this ground-breaking coin is PERLUCOR, an extremely innovative ceramic material with extraordinary mechanical, chemical, and thermal resistance as well as excellent optical properties. It is used in optical applications and in laser, military, and medical-equipment engineering, to name but a few—and now, in modern coin production.
The coin has been struck by UAB Lietuvos Monetų Kalykla (or Mint of Lithuania) on behalf of the Bank of Latvia. The two-sided, diaphanous veil of PERLUCOR is enclosed by an outer ring of silver. At the very center, a curved image of the Earth, made of silver and featuring a geophysical map of the world, is printed in full color. The obverse depicts the Eastern Hemisphere of the Earth, and the silver outer ring includes the inscriptions 5 EURO at the top and LATVIJA at the bottom.
The reverse depicts the Western Hemisphere, again in full color on a curved silver surface, floating at the center of the PERLUCOR field. The silver outer ring includes the inscriptions ZEME (“Earth”) at the top and the year of issue, 2016, at the bottom.
|€ 5||.925 silver||20 g total (14g silver)||40 mm total (4 mm outer ring, 28 mm center disc, 8 mm Earth)||Proof with PERLUCOR center disc||5,000|
From December 22, the coin will be on sale at Latvijas Banka cashiers’ offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja). The coin can also be reserved via Latvijas Banka’s new reservation service for collector coins and other numismatic products, under the “Banknotes and Coins” section at of the Latvijas Banka website. The coin will be available at such traditional points of sale as coin shops. This and other numismatic products offered by Latvijas Banka can also be obtained online from the JSC “Latvijas Pasts.” ❑