Today marks the issuance of the €2 commemorative coin with a common design for all three Baltic countries – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The coin will send a message of unbreakable unity among the Baltic States and of their centenaries. This is the first commemorative coin to be jointly issued by three euro area central banks.
‘The design of the national side of the newly issued coin was chosen by a public vote. Justas Petrulis, a young Lithuanian designer, secured the majority of the votes. The new commemorative coin is legal tender across the euro area and will remind Europe about the three progressive, driven and tenacious countries commemorating their centenaries this year,’ said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, during the presentation of the coin.
The total mintage of the coin in Lithuania and Latvia is 1 million pcs in each country, in Estonia – 500,000 pcs. The national side of the new commemorative coin features a plaited braid, the end of which splits into the coats of arms of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The coin issued in the three states is the same, except for the name of the country inscribed on the national side of the coin – Lietuva (Lithuania), Latvija (Latvia) and Eesti (Estonia).
‘When designing the coin, I drew inspiration from authentic Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian ethnic patterns, viewed family photographs from the Baltic Way. The photograph where my mother and grandmother stands with flags raised and their hair blowing in the wind I remember most vividly. And, certainly, I listened to the song of the Baltic Way,’ said Justas Petrulis, aged 26, the designer of the coin and first-time winner of the coin contest.
The contest for the design of the coin took place in the spring of 2017 – the central banks of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia urged everyone to try their hand in creating the design of the national side of the €2 commemorative coin. Later the public was able to vote for the design that they liked best – more than 14 thousand people from all over the world took part in an online vote, almost a third of them voted for Justas Petrulis’ design ‘Baltic sisters’.
Each euro area country may issue two commemorative coins per year. These coins have the same features and properties and the same common side as normal €2 coins. What makes them different is their commemorative design on the national side. The Bank of Lithuania has already issued 4 commemorative coins: a coin dedicated to Vilnius, to Baltic culture, to the Lithuanian language and to celebrate 30 years of the EU flag. Commemorative coins are legal tender across the euro area.