Creation of commemorative coins

n4198/gipsinis.jpgThe process of creating Lithuanian commemorative coins is organized by the Currency Design and Production Commission set up by the Bank of Lithuania.

When creating and designing circulation coins, first an appropriate choice of the metal composition has to be made, the diameter and thickness has to be established, and a decision on the edge has to be made: whether it should be plain, reeded or contain lettering. It is important to check whether the technical characteristics of the newly designed coins do not coincide with the parameters of coins used in other countries.

The practice and traditions of issuing commemorative coins are different from circulation coins. Much more attention in commemorative coins is focused on the artistic aspects, aiming at maximum harmony of the elements of design on both sides of the coin, the obverse and the reverse. The functional aspect of these coins is not most important. However, as more attention is given to the artistic aspect of the design and technical innovations, there is always a dilemma as to which will retain higher value for the history of numismatics—modernity and brave innovation or the classical coin minting and design traditions tested over centuries. For these reasons the organisation of the process of creating Lithuanian commemorative coins was entrusted to the Currency Design and Production Commission set up by the Bank of Lithuania. Apart from bankers and minting experts, it includes historians, artists, sculptors, graphic artists and experts of heraldry.

Experienced and recognised, as well as novice sculptors and artists, present their ideas to the Currency Design and Production Commission. The Commission then decides which image will decorate the new coin. Following the approval of the graphic designs of the coin by the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, the next stage, the production of the plaster model, begins. The sculptor transforms the flat drawing into a relief plaster model where not only the details of the graphic desing are inserted but the model is supplemented with new artistic strokes that are allowed by the peculiarities of the techniques of sculpture. Depending on the complexity of the elements of design and the drawing, obverse and reverse plaster models for one coin take approximately two months to make. Finished plaster models provide a better picture of what real coins will look like. These models then leave the workshops of coin designers as the time comes to enter the mint.

Excerpt form Arūnas Dulkys' article "The road of the Lithuanian coin"
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