Last 1st of January a new country was added to the list of those who use the euro, and with that Lithuania became the number 17th on the list
Until its inclusion in the euro, the official currency of Lithuania was the litas, with the Lt symbol, divided into 100 centų. Litas were born in 1922, replacing the currency that circulate the country during the German occupation, and along the Big Depression showed to be a quite stable currency. Sadly, the arrival of the second World War took its toll on it and ended up substituted by the soviet ruble, as it also happened to the Latvian lats. Decades after, in 1993, when Lithuania got back its independence, the national currency was brought back.
When in 2002, the euro started circulating, Lithuania was not even part of the European Union. It was not until the massive expansion of 2004, that it achieved its inclusion strongly trying from that moment to get the euro as a currency, so hard that it even presented euro coins back in 2004, before any other of the new euro incoming countries. It also event minted a few euro units, around 10,000.
Initial date was 2007. Surveys to select a design up to a point where Lithuania, in 2006 made a public questionnaire about the designs that should appear in the Lithuanian Euro and elected a winner. All was indicating that in 2007 the country will be part of the eurozone, something that obviously did not occur. Finally the country authorities supported the idea of maintaining a design very similar to the litas that where circulating and that all of the coins represent the coat of arms of the Lithuanian Republic. Designs that included bimetallic coins for 2 and 5 litas, from 1998, similar to actual Euro.
Lithuanian Coins in here.
As a tribute to the previous coin, last year Lithuania emitted a last litas design. It is a proof quality coin of 50 litas made of silver 925 ml and 28,8 g. There has only been minted 3000 units, what makes it a very special and limited coin.
Designed by the artist Agne Dautartaite-Krutule. The head of the coin shows the coat of arms of the Lithuanian Republic creating a movement effect.
While in the tail the layout of the circles creates the illusion of unpredictable movement as if ti where hypnotic. With no doubts a very original coin.
The design that is shown in the Euro coins, designed by Antanas Žukauskas, represents the national arms of the Lithuanian Republic: a knight carrying a shield and wielding a sword while rides a horse, design known as Vytis. It is a very old symbol: first known appearance of Vytis is from 1366, as an emblem of the Lithuanian Big Duchy and it has represented the Lithuanian Republic since its independence in 1990. The only difference between the coins is the background of the stars ring: flat for the 1, 2 and 5 euro cent coins, horizontally striped for the 10, 20 and 50 euro cent coins and vertically striped for the 1 and 2 euro coins.
If you want to see the coins with more detail you can visit the website of the Lietuvos Bankas, which offers big size and quality pictures in which you will be able to appreciate all of their details.
Apart from its release year and stars ring, the coins also have the national identification, LIETUVA —«Lituania»—, and, as a mint sign, the logotype of the Lithuanian mint house, the Lietuvos monetų kalykla, a monogram composed by the initials «LMK» inscribed in a circumference. As for the edge of the coin of 2 €, it shows the text LAISVĖ ★ VIENYBĖ ★ GEROVĖ ★, which means «Liberty, Unity, Comfort».
The first lucky ones that could have the new euro coin in their hands where the Lithuanian First Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, the Economy Minister Rimantas Shadzhyus and the Central Bank president of Vitas Vasiliauskas. In the same way that it happened to other countries adopting the euro, before real circulation started, on the 1st of December 2014, 900.000 bags with the new coin where available to all Lithuanian in order to facilitate the currency transition. This packages were named starter kits. Packaged in plastic bags, this coins sets had each of them there coin of each euro value, a total of 11,59 €, equivalent to 40 litas.
Commemorative, edition proof, bu
Apart from the regular coin edition, collectors sets have been made with a volume of 35.000 units in Brilliant Uncirculated quality and 7.000 in Proof quality.
Apart from these coins, Lithuania started to produce commemorative coins made of gold and silver, precisely along this 2015 two commemorative coins for the values of 20 and 50 euros has already been released, without confirmation of any 2 euros circulating commemorative mintage.
Along the beginnings of last february a 20 euros 925 millesimes silver coin was minted, commemorating Mikalojus Radvila Juodasis, one of the big figures of the Lithuanian history, with the cause of the 500 years from his birthday. Mikolaj Krzysztof Radziwill (1515 - 1565, called The Black, was a Lithuanian noble, that occupied several administrative positions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania: Vilna Vaivoda, Grand Chancellor of Lithuania and Grand Hetman of Lithuania. Coin with proof quality and which has been released a total of 3.000 units.
Last 29th of january the first Lithuanian euro commemorative coin was minted. With a print run of only 5000 units, minted in gold of 999 millesimes and proof quality, it shows different drawings that try recall the coin mintage on the ancient Grand Duchy of Lithuania.