Bank of Lithuania

Today, on 10 August, the Bank of Lithuania issues collector coins dedicated to the rhymed fairy tale Zuikis Puikis (by Eduardas Mieželaitis). The coins are issued in two denominations – €5 silver and €1.50 copper and nickel alloy. On the reverse of the coins, the most diligent can find the entire Lithuanian alphabet.

Zuikis Puikis is the second fairy tale to be featured in the coin series ‘Tales from My Childhood’. The series was launched in 2021 with coins dedicated to the fairy tale ‘Eglė – Queen of Serpents’. 

“We are issuing coins dedicated to the playful yet protreptic story of Zuikis Puikis as we approach the beginning of the new school year. May this be a wish and a reminder to each learner that learning and achieving a goal requires effort and concentration”, says Asta Kuniyoshi, Deputy Chair of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

According to Deputy Chair Kuniyoshi, these collector coins are a great gift or a keepsake for children who will step in school for the first time this September. After all, the coins also include this year’s date, which would be meaningful as the year of starting school. The Bank of Lithuania will offer €1.5 collector coins to the first hundred of first-graders who will have visited the Money Museum of the Bank of Lithuania in Vilnius and the Money Museum exposition at the Bank of Lithuania’s building in Kaunas starting from September, i.e. 100 coins in each city.

“When designing the coins for the fairy tale Zuikis Puikis, I wanted to look at this work by Mieželaitis from another angle, giving it even more depth, so on the reverse I chose a less common point of view – from above. It gives an overview of what is happening but also leaves room for some mystery. I also included an additional game element closely related to the content of the fairy tale – one is to find all the letters of the Lithuanian alphabet on the coin. This way, I wanted to emphasise that learning should not be a burden but a game that naturally evokes curiosity”, says the designer of these collector coins Eglė Žemaitė.

The reverse of the coin shows the fairy tale character Zuikis Puikis on his way to school, distracted by various fun activities until the path finally curves away leading to number 2 (meaning that Zuikis Puikis gets a low grade – two). The impression is enhanced by his friends having fun together – forest animals telling the plot of this fairy tale. 

The obverse, like the other coins in the series, features a knitted pattern with the fairy tale motif: in this case, Zuikis Puikis learning the letters from A to Ž. At the bottom of the knit is a knitted inscription ‘Lithuania’ and a symbolic silhouette of the Vytis. In the background behind the knit are stars on a cosy evening with a growing moon as a child is listening to the fairy tale told/knitted to her. The knitted element and the various phases of the moon will be a common feature of all the coins in this series. There will be more and more knit with each coin in the series, and once all the coins have been collected, it will be possible to see a seamless view of the knit. 

The silver coin is coloured while individual embossed elements of the composition are coated with colour by UV printing (laser printing). 

The edge of the silver coin features stylised bunnies. The edge of the copper and nickel coin is rimmed.

The mintage of the €5 silver coin is 2,750 pieces, while the €1.50 coin is issued in a mintage of 30,000 pieces.