The journey of collector and commemorative coins from just an idea to a glittering new coin in your collection is a long one. Find out more about this process!
- Step 1 – Selection of the theme
The theme for the coin is the first to be selected, i.e. what the new collector or commemorative coin will be dedicated to. In preparing collector and commemorative coin issue plans, the Bank of Lithuania takes into account proposals from the public, numismatists, public and educational institutions, as well as public organisations. The submitted proposals are considered by the Coin Creation Commission. The Commission not only includes experts from the Bank of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Mint, but also historians, artists, sculptors, graphic artists and heraldic experts. The coin production plans prepared by the Coin Creation Commission are approved by the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. The plan not only provides the themes for the coins, but also their features: metal, weight, diameter and mintage. The plan is drawn up several years ahead of time.
- Step 2 – Graphic coin design contest
Having approved the new coin’s technical characteristics and reaching a decision on the mandatory design elements, a contest is held for the graphic design project (sometimes only for the idea or a sketch). During a public and open contest, artists and sculptors can present their visions: what best and most artfully lends credence to the specific theme of the coin. The Coin Creation Commission awards points to each work, thereby selecting the best project.
- Step 3 – Creation of the plaster model
Based on the chosen graphic design, a plaster model of the coin is created. The sculptor transforms the graphic drawing into a relief plaster model, going beyond the details of the graphic design: the model is also supplemented with new artistic strokes that are possible due to the peculiarities of the sculpture technique. A digital relief (i.e. a digital virtual relief of the coin’s graphic design in line with the technical requirements for coin minting) is sometimes created instead of a plaster model.
- Step 4 – Minting of the sample coin
When the Coin Creation Commission approves the plaster model, it is sent to the Lithuanian Mint. Here a sample coin is minted – an example in line with the established technical specifications and the plaster model or digital relief. The sample is evaluated by the Coin Creation Commission and approved by the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, which, at the same time, sets a specific date for the release of the coin. The minted sample is kept at the Bank of Lithuania Money Museum. The sample coin is not included in the total coin mintage and is never issued into circulation.
- Step 5 – Minting of coins
The planned mintage for the coin is minted at the Lithuanian Mint.
- Step 6 – Issuance into circulation
On the set day, the coin is issued into circulation, i.e. from its date of issue, the collector coin can be purchased at the Bank of Lithuania cash offices or on the e-shop, as well as from official coin distributors. Particularly popular and smaller-mintage coins can be sold out within several days. Commemorative coins are distributed as circulation coins – through commercial banks operating in Lithuania. You can also exchange them (no more than 50 pcs per day) at the Bank of Lithuania cash offices.