TALLINN – The Bank of Estonia will release a silver collector coin to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik, an Estonian statesman, doctor and leader in civil society, on Dec. 12.
The coin will go on sale at noon on Dec. 12 in the Omniva online shop and the central bank museum shop, the Bank of Estonia said.
Konstanin Konik was the third member alongside Konstantin Pats and Juri Vilms of the Estonian Salvation Committee that proclaimed the Republic of Estonia on Feb. 24, 1918.
Konik was born in Tartu in 1873 and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu. After graduating, he worked as a doctor, and during the Russo-Japanese war he worked in a hospital of the Odesa Red Cross in Trans-Baikal. When he returned to his homeland, he trained further at a clinic in Tartu specializing in wounds and qualified as a doctor.
He also engaged in politics in Tartu, and he became one of the leading lights of Jaan Tonisson’s Progress Party. Konstantin Konik moved to Tallinn at the start of 1909, where he quickly became one of the most important figures of the national movement.
He played an active role as a member of the Estonian Salvation Committee in proclaiming the Republic of Estonia and in reading out the declaration of independence on Feb. 24, 1918. After being imprisoned during the German occupation, Konik continued his efforts for the independence of Estonia, and during the War of Independence, he fought the spread of infectious diseases and helped in hospitals for the wounded.
In independent Estonia, Konik focused mainly on his medical work, but he remained in politics. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly and then of the Riigikogu from 1932, where he was minister of education and social affairs in the fourth government of Jaan Tonisson. His main focus though was on the independence of the medical community in Estonia and he was the first Estonian to become a surgeon and served for a long time as dean of the Faculty of Medicine, making him a prominent leader in the development of the Estonian medical profession.
The silver collector coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik has a nominal value of 15 euros and sells for 54 euros including VAT. Altogether 3,000 coins have been minted. The coin shows a portrait of Konstantin Konik, depicting the statesman with a blue, black and white flag. The coin was designed by Kaili-Lotta Juhkam, who studied graphic design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and works as a freelance designer, illustrator and artist. The coins were minted by the Lithuanian mint.
The coin dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Konik is a collector coin. Collector coins are mostly made of precious metals and commemorate important events or people for the issuing country. Collector coins are only legal tender in the country of issue. They are not intended for circulation, but rather for collecting or as gifts, and their selling price usually exceeds their nominal value.
The Bank of Estonia museum shop at 11 Estonia Avenue in Tallinn is open from Tuesdays to Fridays from noon until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The museum shop can be contacted by telephone on +372 668 0650 or by e-mail at [email protected]. The Omniva customer service can be contacted by telephone on +372 661 6616 or by e-mail at [email protected].