The 2008 Latvian 20-Lats gold coin commemorates the 15th anniversary of the renewal of the Lats currency following Latvian independence from the old Soviet Union. Though this coin commemorates Latvian Independence, it also celebrates motherhood by utilizing a 1922 design conceived by sculptor Teodors Zalkalns, but never used. Additionally, this coin has the distinction of being named the Coin of the Year in 2010 by Krause Publications. Krause Publications is a leading publisher of several numismatic books and periodicals.
This NGC MS-67, 2008 Latvian 20-Lats coin minted by the Austrian Mint has a mintage of only 5000. The diameter of the coin is 22mm and weighs 10 grams. This coin has a gold fineness 0.999 and has an actual gold weight of 0.352739 Oz.
The gold "Coin of Latvia" shines with the promise of a good fortune and happiness in the future. It is also a special sign of recognition of an outstanding Latvian sculptor, since it carries out the project conceived by Teodors Zalkalns (Grinbergs until 1930; 1876-1972) in 1922 to create a 20-lats gold coin. The plaster model of the coin preserved in the archives of the Latvian National Museum of History contains symbols that are of great significance to Latvia.
Zalkalns' images of mother belong to the classical treasures of Latvian sculpture. The sculptures created during World War I and modeled after a refugee from Courland are a potent symbol of the nation's suffering and transcending that suffering. The obverse of the coin also features a woman in a headscarf, which to any Latvian signifies motherhood: when a baby was born, the husband presented the wife with a headscarf. A woman used it to cover her head whenever she ventured out in the world. Folk tradition has it that a person who is lost can find the right way if she turns the headscarf inside out and ties it anew; that a knot in one of the loose ends can help one remember, and if such a knot is tied when a star is falling, one's wish will come true. All these good things are tied to the mother image. Mother is the symbol of never-ending cycle of life, linking the past, present and future generations.
The feminine principle gives life to an individual and likewise is at the core of the family and state. The feminine principle unites the spiritual with the material; the symbols on the reverse of the coin, bread, apple, vessel with a curdled milk beverage and a jug of milk also signify fertility and plenitude. A knife, symbolizing masculine action, is placed next to the feminine images.
Finally, I want to thank all the mothers out there for the selfless sacrifices they make on behalf of their children. I also want to thank my wife for her unconditional love for my children. I also want to thank my mother for putting up with me and instilling Christian values in my life that have allowed me to be successful and joyful in spite of the hardships. I love you Mom, I love you Linda.