Pre-orders of the coin dedicated to the Vilna Gaon start on 13 October
The reverse of the coin dedicated to the Vilna Gaon depicts ש – the Hebrew crown-shaped letter Shin which in gematria represents the number 300, and גר"א – an acronym for “Ha Gaon Rabbi Elyahu”, meaning “Gaon (Genius) Rabbi Elijah”. The bottom of the coin features a symbolic Torah scroll with the engraved number 300. The reverse also bears the inscriptions “the Vilna Gaon” and “Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman” in the Lithuanian and Hebrew languages.
The obverse of the silver coin depicts the sign of Lithuanian Jews (Litvaks) – a community identity symbol representing the identification of Lithuanian Jews, as citizens, with the state of Lithuania since the reign of Gediminas, Grand Duke of Lithuania. The main design of the coin is surrounded by the inscription “The Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews in Lithuania” in the Lithuanian and Hebrew languages as well as the number 5780 which stands for the year 2020 in the Jewish calendar. The edge of the coin bears the inscription “If you will it, you too can be a genius” in the Lithuanian and Yiddish languages.
The coin was designed by Viktorija Sideraitė-Alon, Jūratė Juozėnienė and Albinas Šimanauskas, and minted at the Lithuanian Mint.
The mintage of the silver coin is 2,500 pcs. During pre-orders and on the issue day, one buyer will be able to purchase no more than two coins. The price of the coin is EUR 62.
The Vilna Gaon (Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman) is a famous 18th-century Jewish sage, whose intellectual heritage brought renown to the city of Vilnius across the entire global Jewish community.
Commemorating the 300th anniversary of this prominent figure, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania declared 2020 as the Year of the Vilna Gaon and the History of the Jews in Lithuania.
The coin dedicated to the Vilna Gaon will be presented by Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, on 20 October during the opening of the documentary exhibition “Shenot Eliyahu: Vilna Gaon’s Influence on the Culture of the Jews of Lithuania” organised by Martynas Mažvydas National Library.