Dating back to the early 17th century, Saint Casimir’s Fair is a large annual folk arts and crafts fair held in Vilnius, in the Baltic state of Lithuania. Traditionally held in the markets and streets of Vilnius on the Sunday nearest to 4th March, it has now expanded to include music, dance, and theatre and draws in tens of thousands of people every year.
With arts and crafts being the main focus of Kaziuko mugė, the Lithuanian name for the festival, it comes as no surprise that this new silver coin features them heavily. Famed for its hand-made goods like jewelry, souvenirs, paintings, clothes and toys, the coin reverse takes a selection of them in a coloured, stylised form and overlays them on a heart shaped background. An unusual design, but one that fits in with the general art style of this innovative and clever mint.
The obverse has another variant of the state emblem on it, a particularly good and appropriate one in our view, and one that also sits in a heart-shaped background. The denomination and date are inscribed on this face, just the coin subject present on the reverse. Struck in an odd 12.44 grams of sterling 0.925 silver, just 2,000 of this Rytas Jonas Belevicius designed coin will be available, although an uncoloured base-metal version with a 25,000 mintage is also up for sale. Available now.
Future coins will feature the Lithuanian festive Užgavėnės, and one for the Saint Jonas Festival, Joninės.