Latvijas Banka issues the very first 2 euro coin of special design "Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014". It is legal tender in the Republic of Latvia and the other euro area countries. The coins will be put into circulation just like other circulation money, via banks going to traditional points of coin sale and population. The cashier offices of Latvijas Banka in Riga, Daugavpils and Liepāja will commence selling the coin on Tuesday, 12 August.
The graphic design of the coin has been created by Henrihs Vorkals, and Jānis Strupulis is the author of the plaster model. The new 2 euro coin has been struck by Staatliche Münzen Baden-Württemberg in Germany, the same mint commissioned to strike Latvia's euro circulation coinage.
The features and properties of the coins of special design remain much the same as those of the normal coins. Thus, their common or European side (with the nominal displayed), material, size and edge do not differ from other 2 euro coins. What makes them different is their commemorative design on the national side.
Highly symbolic in national terms is the fact that the very first 2 euro coin of special design commemorates Riga, European Capital of Culture of 2014. The activities related to the event present a new quality vision of the capital city and Latvia's affinity with Europe and the common cultural values. By issuing this coin of special design Latvijas Banka has made an important contribution to the popularisation of the event in Latvia and abroad.
The mintage of the coin "Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014" is 1 million, with 5 000 coins, packed in special souvenir boxes, minted additionally.
The coin "Riga – European Capital of Culture 2014" carries on the tradition of minting circulation coins of special design in Latvia. Each country in the euro area is entitled to issue two commemorative coins per year. Also, they are allowed to produce a third coin, provided that it is issued under a jointly organised programme. Latvia's next 2 euro commemorative coins of special design are projected for 2015.
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