Latvijas Banka issues a collector coin 'Childhood Joy'

  • 2024-07-01
  • Latvijas Banka

On Thursday, 4 July, Latvijas Banka is releasing a collector coin "Childhood Joy" dedicated to the 150th anniversary of writer Vilis Plūdons. It beautifully portrays two cherished and widely recognised children's poems "The Bunny Bathhouse" and "The Dwarves and the Old Man of the Forest". This coin will captivate both children and adults, bringing them back to the cherished moments of their childhood.

Children's poetry by Vilis Plūdons is embedded in Latvian folklore. In his childhood, he was enchanted by both the fairy tales and folk songs his grandmother shared, which he later wove into captivating poetic language, capturing the exuberance of childhood and the splendour of Latvian nature.

The graphic design of the coin has been created by the acclaimed children's book illustrator Anna Vaivare. She has skillfully incorporated the beloved poems "The Dwarves and the Old Man of the Forest" (1913) and "The Bunny Bathhouse" (1915) into this tribute to the literary legacy of Vilis Plūdons. In her rendition of the first poem, the artist has chosen to depict the forest dwarves' frolic as they welcome the first snowfall. The second poem portrays bunnies bathing in the bathhouse, an activity beloved by Latvians in ancient times and today, known for its rejuvenating effects on both body and spirit. Although both poems immerse us in the world of dwarves, bunnies and other forest creatures, we understand that the poet is unfolding narratives of children and their encounters with the marvellous world of nature and traditions, which play a significant role in his literary work.

The experienced artist Ligita Franckeviča is the author of the coin's plaster model.

The Latvian literary classic Vilis Lejnieks (1874–1940), commonly known as Vilis Plūdons, adopted the pseudonym Plūdons at the outset of his literary journey, a name he subsequently formalised as his own surname. He borrowed it from the list of Latvian deities created by poet Auseklis, where Plūdons is revered as the god of waters.

Vilis Plūdons, born in Zemgale, spent his childhood and subsequent summers in the vicinity of the beautiful Mēmele River and amidst the embrace of the surrounding forests. The fields of Zemgale, the neighbourhood of his home and the surrounding forests held a special place in his heart, inspiring many of his poems. Vilis Plūdons enjoyed writing while immersed in nature, surrounded by trees and waters.

The collector coin will be available for purchase only on the website from 12:00 (noon) on 4 July. The price of the coin is 75.00 euro; the purchase limit for one buyer – 4 coins. The mintage of the coin is 4000. The coin was struck by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands).


Face value: 5 euro

Weight: 22.00 g

Diameter: 35 mm

Metal: silver of fineness .999°; colour print on the obverse and reverse

Edge: the inscriptions "LATVIJAS BANKA" and "LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA", separated by rhombic dots.

Quality: proof

Maximum mintage: 4000

Struck in 2024 by Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt (the Netherlands)


Graphic design: Anna Vaivare

Plaster model: Ligita Franckeviča


The obverse of the coin depicts a scene from the poem "The Bunny Bathhouse" by Vilis Plūdons: one bunny is washing its ears, another is flapping its feet with a sauna whisk, and the third is washing its eyes. In the foreground, a bucket features a water swirl forming the number "5", with the word "EURO" inscribed on its side. The inscription "SPLISHY SPLASHY" is arranged in a semicircle at the top right.


The coin's reverse features a scene from the poem "The Dwarves and the Old Man of the Forest" by Vilis Plūdons: two dwarves are having a snowball fight, one is rolling a snowball, while only the boot-clad legs of another, stuck in a snowdrift, are visible. The inscription "2024" is placed in a semicircle at the bottom right. The inscription "SNOWBALLS ARE DARTING, HAIR CURLS ARE DANCING" is arranged in a semicircle in two lines at the top.


The inscriptions "LATVIJAS BANKA" and "LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA", separated by rhombic dots.

Activity of Latvijas Banka regarding the issuance of collector coins and 2 euro commemorative coins

Since 1993, Latvijas Banka has issued 98 lats collector coins and 54 euro collector coins. Overall, more than 50 artists from Latvia and now also 1 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. In 2015, the silver collector coin "The Baltic Way" was recognised as the Best Contemporary Event Coin at this contest, whereas in 2018, the collector coin "National Entrepreneur" was named the Most Artistic Coin of the Year. 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), which has been active since 12 November 1993, plays an important role in the coin issuing process. The Commission consists of employees of Latvijas Banka, outstanding experts in Latvian art and culture as well as artists and scientists.

After the euro changeover, Latvijas Banka carries on the tradition of issuing collector coin series with motifs characteristic of Latvia and executed in high artistic quality. These coins are legal tender only in the issuing country. They are unlikely to come into general circulation, for, by nature, they are works of art enjoying high demand from the numismatic community and other interested parties.

The face value of collector coins must differ from that of coins in general circulation (it must be, e.g. 5 euro or 10 euro). Their specifications, including colour, diameter, weight, material, etc. have to be cardinally distinctive from those of the coins in general circulation.

For information on the collector coins on sale at and Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices, see and

The issuance of 2 euro commemorative coins (2 euro circulation coins of special design) is another area of coin art. Each year, every euro area country is entitled to issue two 2 euro commemorative coins (similar to 1 lats special circulation coins previously issued in Latvia), featuring events of national, European or global significance. The euro area countries can additionally produce a third 2 euro commemorative coin, provided that it is issued jointly and that it commemorates events of European Union-wide importance.

Commemorative coins bear the same features and the same common or European side as the normal 2 euro circulation coins, while their national sides differ and feature a national commemorating motif.

Euro commemorative coins are legal tender throughout the euro area. This means they can be used – and must be accepted – just like any other euro coin.