On Friday, 17 August, Latvijas Banka is issuing a silver collector coin dedicated to Curonian kings. In the run-up to the centenary of Latvia, we are both looking at the past and thinking about the future. This coin is dedicated to Curonian kings, part of the Latvian nation who have managed to safeguard their personal freedom and independence for centuries.
The collector coin Curonian Kings was created by artists Arvīds Priedīte (the graphic design) and Ligita Franckeviča (the plaster model). The coin was struck by UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania).
The obverse features a rider on a horse, with a feather in his hat, a sword at his side and a banner in his hand, against the background of a document. The reverse depicts the Peniķi column with Ķoniņciems’ coat of arms, a woman dressed in the folk costume and a man with a sword; in the background, the names of the seven free villages of Courland are inscribed.
Curonian kings were the natives of Courland living in seven free villages of Ķoniņi, Kalēji, Pliķi and Ziemeļi in Turlava parish, Dragūni in Rumba parsih, Viesalgi in Snēpele parish and Sausgaļi in Padure parish. As vassals they received land and privileges from the Livonian order. In 1230, an agreement concluded between king Lamekin (Lammekinus Rex), representing most of the Curonians, and an authorised representative of a legate of the Roman Pope established that the Curonians had to take part in battles against pagans; they had the right to be free as long as they remained Catholics. The agreement was short-lived as the religious powers and the powers and influence of the Livonian Order tended to change; however, the tradition of freedom was established.
Curonian kings had the duty to participate in battles with their horses and weapons defending the Livonian Order. They also became messengers, interpreters, secretaries, carpenters, blacksmiths and other craftsmen, and were exempt from corvée and duties. Curonian kings cultivated land by themselves or with the help of their farm-hands, and the land was inherited by their sons.
To commemorate this extraordinary history, Latvijas Banka is dedicating a collector coin to Curonian kings.
Beginning with 17 August 8.30 a.m., the new coin will be on sale online via e-monetas.lv, Latvijas Banka’s website for purchases of collector coins and other numismatic products, as well as Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices at K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja.
The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier’s Offices and via e-monetas.lv is 43.00 euro. The maximum mintage of the coin is limited to 2500.