Latvia celebrates the ecology of our urban environments with its latest shaped silver coin

One of the biggest crimes ever committed by man in his long symbiosis with this beautiful world haas been the callous disregard for the environment we need for our survival. Greed and arrogance has long taken precedence over common sense, but finally, we’re seeing grass-roots movements bringing the various abuses to light. There’s no greater gift you can give to both humanity and the planet than to recognise, and try to fix that damage.

Fortunately, the masses are making their voices heard and we’re seeing great strides made in renewable energy sources, recycling and corporate responsibility. Much remains to be done, but just half a century ago, it wasn’t even talked about. That progress is being seen, not just out in the wilds, but in our urban spaces as well. Cities like Singapore, have embraced the incorporation of nature into their very fabric and any citizen of any town can appreciate the benefit of moving away from the concrete jungle to spaces filled with nature.

The Baltic state of Latvia is issuing a new coin celebrating the relationship between man and nature in the formers biggest spaces, using the old historic city of Riga for inspiration. The most obvious nod to the subject matter is the shape of this 18 gram coin, taking on the form of a linden tree leaf. Found in most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere, they are large (20-40 m tall) deciduous trees with leaves that vary in size from 6-20 cm, depending on species. Artist Mārcis Kalniņ and sculptor Ligita Franckeviča have created a very cool numismatic representation of the leaf.

One side is dedicated to nature, reproducing the vascular look of a linden leaf. The other face very cleverly evokes a similar style using a street map of Riga itself. The idea is inspired, the actual coin realised superbly. At under 32 mm at its widest, this sterling silver coin isn’t a huge one, but the 5,000 mintage and affordable €53.00 price-point mean it’s an easily attainable one. Of special note, all the packaging uses recycled materials, as does the coin itself – the silver all coming from recycled sources. Available from 03 November, this is exactly the kind of innovative coin design we love here.


Ecology has become a major topic of our daily agenda because of the substantial changes affecting our environment. With increasingly greater numbers of people moving to urban areas, one of the most important tasks of urban developers is to make cities as pleasant to live in and green as possible. This has resulted in the concept of a sustainable city where everything is in balance with the environment.

Unlike many other big cities, Riga is comparatively green. This quality is becoming more essential with more urban development. Green areas improve the microclimate since they purify the air and water, thus improving human health.  They are both a cultural heritage and part of an easy economical solution to reduce the human impact on the environment.

Like a leaf has its venation pattern, a city also has a network of streets, overpasses and roads. The network of Riga streets has been designed for people, connecting them with places in the urban environment, similar to the veins of a leaf transporting substances throughout the leaf. The linden tree is one of the most common and resistant trees you can find in Riga. At the same time, this tree, which lives up to 200–300 years, symbolises one of the most precious resources of the city. Linden trees capture large amounts of dust and give city dwellers clean air in return. In a year, one healthy tree produces oxygen for at least 10 people. Nowadays, this common and simple component of nature has to be appreciated and cherished.

COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 18.13 grams
DIMENSIONS 32.0 mm (variable)
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes