Latvian Euro Coins
On 5 March 2013, Latvia formally asked the Commission to deliver an extraordinary convergence report
with the aim of joining the euro from 1 January 2014. On 5 June, the Commission concluded that Latvia meets
the criteria for adopting the euro and on 9 July, the EU Finance Ministers took the formal decision opening
the way for Latvia’s adoption of the euro. Thereafter, Latvia started preparing the changeover to the euro
by implementing its national changeover plan, providing all the details for the organisation of the
introduction of the euro and the withdrawal of the lats.
With Latvia’s accession to the euro area on 1 January 2014, the European monetary area was enriched in
two ways: first, by the arrival of the new Latvian euro coins and second, by the addition of a new spelling of the
word "euro". As the Latvian language does not contain the combination of letters "eu", Latvians themselves
colloquially refer to their future currency as the "eiro". One prerequisite for the introduction of the euro,
however, is that the currency must be referred to as the "euro" in all legal documentation, for example.
Latvian euro design
The design of the reverse of the Latvian euro coins was chosen at the all-Latvian competition of ideas
in 2004. The jury selected Ilze Kalnina's proposal, with images that symbolize Latvia and its core values.
They feature three separate designs, which were publicised in July 2006 on the home page of the
National Bank of Latvia. The designs featured were the Latvian maiden, which was featured on the 5 lats coin
prior to World War II, on the 1 and 2 euro coins, the greater Coat of arms of Latvia on the 10, 20 and 50-cent
coins, and the lesser Coat of arms of Latvia on the 1, 2 and 5-cent coins. The Mint of Stuttgart in Germany
won the tender to mint the Latvian euro coin, thus the Latvian euro coins carry the mint mark F
Originally, it was planned that Freedom Monument would be featured on the 2 euro coin, but the original
design did not meet the regulations of the ECB since it reached out into the ring of the coin and changed one
of the stars. Latvia decided that a changed design of the monument would not be as recognisable and decided to
use the Latvian maiden, used on the 1 euro coin, on the 2 euro coin as well. The graphic design for the 1-
and 2-euro coins was created by Guntars Sietins and the euro cent design by Laimonis Senbergs. The striking
of coins took place over a period of about 6 months.
The Latvian 2 euro coin edge inscription
|(GOD BLESS LATVIA)|
Latvia Euro production
Latvia became the 18th Member State to adopt the euro, on January 1, 2014, on the 15th anniversary of the
launch of the euro in 1999; 18 Member States and 333 million Europeans already shared the same currency.
Commercial banks received euro banknotes and coins in advance from the Latvian Central Bank, the Bank of
Latvia, and have in turn supplied euro cash to shops and other businesses.
A total of 800,000 starter kits with euro coins bearing Latvian national sides were made available to the
general public since 10 December 2013. Moreover, 70,000 dedicated starter kits weren offered to retailers. As
of 1 January, the Bank of Latvia started changing unlimited amounts of lats into euro at the official conversion rate
(1 EUR = 0.702804 LVL) for an unlimited period of time and free of charge. Commercial banks provided
unlimited cash exchange services free of charge until 30 June 2014 and post offices until 31 March 2014.
In total, Latvia minted 400,280,000 coins, in 3 qualities, as well as 30,000 BU sets and 5,000 proof sets.
- Two kind of starter kits will be released:
- 600.000 starter-kits with 47 coins for private citizens (value € 14,23)
- 200.000 starter-kits with 740 coins for businesses and traders (value € 200)
- 240,000 coins for BU sets (30,000 coins of each denomination)
- 40,000 proof coins (5,000 coins of each denomination)
The following is a breakdown of the volumes by denomination: