In the traditional public survey, the coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" won the title of Latvia's Coin of the Year 2022. In the public survey organised by Latvijas Banka and the news portal Delfi.lv, for two weeks, everyone had the opportunity to vote for the best collector coin of 2022, and this opportunity was seized by more than 9.3 thousand people.
With 5.5 thousand votes, "Vilhelms Purvītis" is the winning collector coin. The author of its graphic design is artist and painter Frančeska Kirke. She is also the author of three other collector coins issued by Latvijas Banka: "The Garden of Destiny", ""Baltars". Porcelain" and "Basketball".
The obverse of the coin "Vilhelms Purvītis" features the painting "Winter", one of the most famous paintings by the artist, in colour print, while the coin's reverse is designed as a plaster model of the painting with varying levels of relief and grades of silver frosting.
Latvijas Banka issued this collector coin to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Vilhelms Purvītis (1872–1945). Vilhelms Purvītis is the founder and moderniser of the national landscape painting and one of the key figures in Latvian visual art of the first half of the 20th century.
In Latvian art history, the name of Vilhelms Purvītis has become one of the symbols of national identity. The painter's vision of nature and his classically composed Latvian landscapes in changing seasons are considered to be the canon of national landscape. Purvītis deserves particular recognition as an implementer of the idea of higher artistic education and one of the architects of the cultural policy.
Everyone had the opportunity to vote for one of the four collector coins dedicated to the Latvian culture, history and universal human values and issued in 2022: "Satversme 100" (video), "Vilhelms Purvītis" (video), "Upward" (video) and "For the Freedom of Ukraine" (video).
The coin "For the Freedom of Ukraine" was placed second in the vote. It was created under a specific project in cooperation with Ukrainian artists as support for Ukraine's fight for its freedom. With the help of this coin, Latvijas Banka will make donations to support Ukraine. The coins "For the Freedom of Ukraine" and "Upward" are still available at Latvijas Banka, while the coins "Vilhelms Purvītis" and "Satversme 100" are no longer available at Latvijas Banka.
The voters entered a prize draw. A total of 12 collector coins were offered in the draw, and the names of the winners are published on the website bank.lv. Latvijas Banka will contact each winner.
Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 47 euro collector coins. Overall, more than 50 artists from Latvia and now also one artist from Ukraine have participated in designing Latvian coins.
Latvian coins have received high international recognition and a number of prestigious awards. The "Coin of Latvia" won the international 2010 Coin of the Year Award at the contest organised by the US numismatics publishing house Krause Publications and its magazine World Coin News. Latvian coins have also excelled at this contest in other years: in 2016, the silver collector coin "Baltic Way" was the winner in the Best Contemporary Event category; in 2018, the collector coin "National Entrepreneur" was announced the Most Artistic Coin, while in 2020, the "Honey coin", Latvijas Banka's collector coin, was named 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), which has been active since 12 November 1993, plays an important role in the coin issuing process. The Commission consists of the employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding Latvian experts in art and culture as well as artists and scientists.