Published: 18.04.2024

The annual survey results have revealed that Latvia's Coin of the Year 2023 is the coin "Stardust" dedicated to Imants Ziedonis, a distinguished figure of Latvian culture.

In the public survey held by Latvijas Banka and the news portal from 19 March to 4 April, everyone had the opportunity to vote for the most outstanding collector coin released in 2023. Over 31 thousand votes were cast in this year's survey, with the coin "Stardust" receiving more than 6700 votes. The graphic design of the coin has been created by artist and illustrator Līga Kitchen. Ligita Franckeviča is the author of the plaster model.

Latvijas Banka issued this collector coin to memorialise the creative spirit of Imants Ziedonis, one of Latvia's most renowned poets, through the artistry of coin design. In 2023, he would have celebrated his 90th birthday. The name and graphic design of the coin narrate the story of the poet – a dreamer, an inspirer, a visionary whose ability to see and create extended beyond boundaries, revealing the stardust hidden within the supposedly trivial aspects of life.

The artist has depicted multiple images within the graphic design of the coin. The walking man symbolises the quest for truth, meaning and belonging. Meanwhile, the constellation symbolises the profound interconnectedness between the earth and the sky, highlighting the reality that humans are composed of stardust and are therefore essential elements woven into the fabric of the universe. Bursting with a myriad of living beings, the tree symbolises the vibrant energy intertwined with the poet's own industrious spirit and the essence reflected in his texts. The motif of the road – embodied through walking, movement, and the pursuit of beauty and essential truths – played a significant role in Imants Ziedonis' creative endeavours. The vertical as a principle and an essential need.

Overall, six coins, each honouring Latvian culture, history and universal human values, were issued in 2023:

  • Stardust, (video);
  • Song Thrills (video);
  • 100 Years of Basketball in Latvia (video);
  • The Golden Horses (video);
  • Fan of Light Rays (video);
  • Riga Fashion (video).

The coins "Song Thrills", "Fan of Light Rays" and "Riga Fashion" remain available for purchase online at or in person at the Cashier's Office of Latvijas Banka.

Voters had the chance to enter a draw for 18 collector coins released in 2023. The names of the winners can be found on the website, and Latvijas Banka will personally contact each of them to arrange the delivery of their prizes.

Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 53 euro collector coins. Overall, more than 50 artists from Latvia and one artist from Ukraine have participated in designing Latvian coins.

Latvian coins have received high international recognition and a number of prestigious awards; moreover, the "Coin of Latvia" won the international 2010 Coin of the Year Award at the contest organised by US numismatics publishing house Krause Publications and its magazine World Coin News. Latvian coins have excelled at this contest several times: in 2015, the silver collector coin "The Baltic Way" was the winner in the nomination the Best Contemporary Event; meanwhile, the collector coin "National Entrepreneur" was announced the winner in the category the Most Artistic Coin. At the competition Coin of the Year Awards (COTY) in 2020, the "Honey coin", Latvijas Banka's collector coin, was announced the world's Most Artistic Coin and the Coin of the Year.

The Coin Design Commission of Latvijas Banka (the former Commission for the Thematic Concept of the Banknotes and Coins), operational since 12 November 1993, plays an important role in the coin issuing process. The Commission consists of employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian experts in art and culture as well as artists and scientists.

For reference

The silver coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" (video) featuring the painting "Winter", one of the most famous paintings by the artist, was named Latvia's Coin of the Year 2022. The issuance of this collector coin commemorates the 150th anniversary of Vilhelms Purvītis. The graphic design of the coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" was created by artist Frančeska Kirke, the author of many collector coins issued by Latvijas Banka.

Since 2004, when Latvijas Banka organised the first public vote, the following coins have been named Latvia's Coin of the Year: "Coin of Time", "Baron Münchhausen", "Coin of Digits", "Coin of Time II", "Lucky Coin", "Coin of Water", "Amber Coin", "Fog mists the pane", "5-lats silver collector coin", "Baby Coin", "Baroque of Courland", "Fairy Tale Coin I. Five Cats", "Fairy Tale Coin II. Hedgehog's Coat", "Smith Forges in the Sky", "Honey coin", "Cat's Mill" and "Linden leaf".

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