Lithuania's central bank issues a euro coin dedicated to Aukštaitija
On 16 September, the Bank of Lithuania issued into circulation the €2 commemorative coin dedicated to Aukštaitija. The coin is legal tender throughout the euro area.
This is the second coin in the series “Lithuanian Ethnographic Regions”. The first coin – dedicated to Samogitia – was issued last year.
“From now on, not only Samogitians but Aukštaitians as well will be able to enjoy their own €2 commemorative coin. Aukštaitija is the largest ethnographic region of Lithuania, the cradle of our statehood, famous for its dialects, customs, diversity of culinary heritage and natural beauty. By the way, this is not the first euro coin linked to Aukštaitija – we have already issued a €2 commemorative coin dedicated to sutartinės, multi-part songs that originated from this region,” said Asta Kuniyoshi, Deputy Chair of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.
In the accompanying leaflet to the coin, Dr Žilvytis Šaknys reminds that Aukštaitija is famous not only for its sutartinės. The Lithuanian Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage also includes the keptinis (baked) beer of Jūžintai, the old method of under-ice fishing for smelts and vendace on the Baltieji Lakajai Lake. Aukštaitija is also well known for its Sartai horse racing event which has been taking place annually since 1905. Flax from Rokiškis was renowned for its high quality far beyond the borders of Lithuania. Many ethnographic sources take note of the Aukštaitian hospitality.
The national side of the coin, designed by Rolandas Rimkūnas, features the coat of arms of Aukštaitija with an armour-clad knight holding a sword in his right hand. The coat of arms is held by two angels, symbolically exalting and protecting Aukštaitija. Below is a Latin inscription: PATRIAM TUAM MUNDUM EXISTIMA (consider your homeland to be the whole world). . The common side of the coin is the same as on circulation coins.
The mintage of the coin dedicated to Aukštaitija is 500,000, of which 5,000 are of BU quality in a numismatic package. The price of the €2 commemorative coin of BU quality is EUR 9.00, while the unc quality coins are exchanged according to their denomination at the Bank of Lithuania cash offices. The coins will also be available at points of sale and will be used in daily payments.
By 2023, the Bank of Lithuania will issue commemorative €2 coins dedicated to other ethnographic regions of Lithuania – Dzūkija, Suvalkija and Lithuania Minor.