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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

726) Honey Coin from Latvia: A 5 Euro Gold plated Silver coin minted by the Mint of Lithuania on behalf of the Bank of Latvia titled "Honey Coin" featuring honey-comb cells issued on 22.05.2018":

726) Honey Coin from Latvia: A 5 Euro Gold plated Silver coin minted by the Mint of Lithuania on behalf of the Bank of Latvia titled "Honey Coin" featuring honey-comb cells issued on 22.05.2018":

For posts from the Bank of Latvia on this blog, please visit the following links:

1) Latvian Folk Songs: "Smith Forges in the Sky": A 5 Euro Silver Coin issued by the LATVIJAS BANKA in 2017

2) Honey Coin: A 5 Euro Gold plated Silver coin minted by the Mint of Lithuania on behalf of the Bank of Latvia titled "Honey Coin" featuring honey-comb cells issued on 22.05.2018

The Latvian Banka has released on 22.05.2018, a Colletor Coin titled "Honey Coin" whose design features honeycomb cells which form a rough outline of the geographic contour of Latvia and the Gulf of Riga.

The design is based on a concept submitted by Arturs  Analts that won the first prize in an earlier competition announced in January 2017 to search for ideas to create an innovative coin in terms of its motif, design or technical solution.

The Obverse of the 5 Euro honey-comb cluster-shaped coin against the background of a Bee-hive image

The Obverse and Reverse of the 5 Euro honey-comb cluster-shaped coin

About Bees, Bee-Hives & Honey & their relationship to man:

Bees have been working hard on Earth for millions of yeas. The rather "selfish friendship" of humans with bees emerged as a result of continuous fight for livelihood. Initially, they used the generous gifts arising from the efforts of bees in a cautious manner in natural surroundings. It was the honey harvested from the hives of forest bees that our ancestors tasted first. The oldest man-made beehives of the 10th Century BC have been found in  the Middle East in the territory of present day Israel. 

The scientific foundations of bee-keeping were laid in German states only at the end of the 18th Century AD.

In the 19th Century AD, bee-keeping specialists in various countries across the world contributed to the creation and improvement of the modern hives with removable frames (or honeycombs) and with bee-entrances.

The job of bee-keepers involves work with aromatic beeswax cells and golden honey, which we tend to compare with amber.

Since time immemorial, Latvians have associated the work of bee-keepers with a healthy life-style, and it has also been surrounded by the poetic atmosphere of folk songs. A place bustling with bees tells us that it is dominated by cleanliness, harmony and order.

Honey was used to cure wounds and illnesses in ancient Egypt. Egyptian pharaohs also made use of honey during religious rituals. In ancient Greece, Pythagoras, the mathematician (580-500 BC) and philosopher Democritus (460-370 BC) believed that eating honey was a pre-condition for a long life, and both lived.

Meanwhile, Aristotle (384-322 BC), the founding father of natural sciences, recommended honey as a means for curing eye diseases, while Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, invited people to use honey both on its own and together with water or wine.  He believed that honey was nourishing, that it made one's face look better and that it had medicinal properties.

The ancient Greeks appreciated honey to the extent that they featured a honey bee on their coins. Meanwhile honey served as a valid form of currency for the Romans since many people paid their taxes  in honey.

In Latvia:

Approximately 6,000 years ago, when the climate got warmer, the territory of the present-day Latvia saw the first bees.

Archaeological excavations suggest that it was already in the period from the 2nd to 4th Centuries AD, that people consumed honey.

Between the 10th and 14th Centuries AD, honey and beeswax along with amber and cereals played an important role as exchange and market goods.

At the beginning of the 19th Century, many landlords set  up permanent apiaries in their forests. At the end of the 19th Century, every fifth farm had an apiary, however, it usually consisted of just some bee colonies since honey was used entirely for self-consumption. 

Today, honey has a special role in Latvia and along with those diligent honey bees, it is widely present in Latvian folk songs. It is an important ingredient to Latvian food and recipes, as well and is additionally used as a traditional medicine and cosmetics product.

Latvian citizens, who are considered "busy as bees" in their day-to-day lives, contribute to their country's well-being in much the same way that bees fill a hive with honey. Bees also have a significant role to play in maintaining biological diversity and their presence is an indicator of the state of the health of nature and the overall environment.

Presently, honey is consumed on its own in Latvia, used in confectionery, beverages, traditional medicine, bath-house rituals, massages and cosmetics. Honey contains antioxidants and vitamins, mineral substances and trace elements and has antibacterial effects. Those who suffer from chronic hay fever are often advised to consume honey and bee-bread, a pollen ball packed by worker honey-bees into pellets.

Interestingly, none of the bees living in a colony consisting of say 30-80,000 bees ever sleeps. Each bee collects food for the colony and construction materials for the hive and breeds new generations of bees. The collected nectar and pollen are turned into honey and bee bread

There is a Latvian saying -
" Lazybones, go to a bee,
to learn its virtue.
It has neither masters nor elders
in its sweet daily job".

The bees are symbolic of every Latvian's contribution to nation-building and the "Honey Coin" is a symbol of diligence and sweetness of work.

The Honey-comb cluster-shaped coin:

The honey-comb cluster-shaped coin has been minted by the Mint of Lithuania at their facilities in Vinius on behalf of the Bank of Latvia.
The Obverse of the 5 Euro Gold plated Silver Coin depicts honeycomb cells which form a rough outline of the geographical contour of Latvia and the Gulf of Riga with various types of frosting applied to achieve the effect. 

The inscriptions are -"LATVIJA" (name of the issuing country "Latvia") and year of issue "2018".
The Reverse of the 5 Euro Gold plated Silver Coin features honeycomb cells. The numeral "5" is placed to the left of centre, slightly lower, with the denomination "EURO" depicted below it. 

The shape of the Gold-plated Silver coin is unique, as several coins can be placed side-by-side like  pieces of a puzzle to construct an even larger honeycomb, in the same way bees do in a hive.
                    Vertical side-view of the 5 Euro Silver Coin 

The specification of the Coin are:

Denomination: 5 Euro; Metal Composition: Silver .925 fineness (Ag), Gold-plated .995 fineness (Au); Shape: hexagon with wavy edges and split off peaks, the distance between the upper and lower peak of the hexagon is 29.0 mm; Weight: 16.5 grams; Dimensions: 29 mm x 29 mm; Coin Quality: Proof; Mintage: 3,000 pieces; Year: 2018; Edge: Plain; Coin Minted by: UAB Lietuvos monetu kalykla (Lithuania); Designer: Arturs Analts.


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