Latvia - Legation Series
These are Medallic Coinage issued by the Legation of Latvia to commemorating the 70th anniversary of Independence in 1988 and another set of coins were issued next year in 1989.
The Latvian Legation in Washington DC served as the official diplomatic representative of the Latvian Republic after it was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940. It acted as the Latvian government in exile and was recognized by the United States, Canada, Great Britain and many other countries, until Latvia regained its independence in 1991.  After Latvia regained independence the Legation became the official Latvian embassy to the United States. In the late 1980s the Legation issued a limited number of coins. The first issue, dated 1988, commemorated the 70th anniversary of Latvian independence. The obverse depicted the Latvian arms and the reverse pictured the Latvian Monument to Freedom, which has stood in Riga, the nation’s capital, since 1935. The monument was the symbol of Latvia's struggle for freedom. The 38.25mm coins were denominated as 1 Trojas Unce and were issued in bronze, silver and gold. Unfortunately when the design was faxed to the mint, a small spot made the word “TEVZEMEI” on the reverse of the coin appear as “TEVZEMEJ”. The error was not discovered until the first shipment of coins were received by the Legation.  Production was immediately halted and The Legation tried to get back the error coins that were already sent to customers. Only 78 of the error coins were issued in Bronze. Some uniface pattern coins also exists.  The set features three different designs:  the obverse with the Latvian arms, and the reverses with the Latvian Monument to Freedom with both the error spelling of “TEVZEMEJ” and the corrected version spelled “TEVZEMEI”. Each of the three designs is struck in four different metals: nickel-silver, bronze, brass and copper.   Only two of these uniface patterns are listed in the Unusual World Coins book, the copper obverse (Bruce #TS1) with a mintage of only 10 pieces and nickel-silver obverse (Bruce #TS2) with a mintage of 35 pieces. Because most of these patterns were distributed as single coins, it is likely that there are only two complete uniface pattern sets available, probably some still with the mint archives. Also available is a 1988 1 Trojas Unce .999 fine silver Piefort (double-thickness, weight 2 troy ounces) with the spelling error. It has a mintage of just 43 pieces. In 1989 the Latvian Legation issued a coin commemorating the 350th anniversary of Latvians arriving in America. The reverse pictures a sailing ship and the Latvian arms on the obverse.  The coin is denominated as 1 Trojas Unce, contains 1 troy ounce of .999 fine silver and has a mintage of 3500 pieces.
Obverse legend: LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA with supported arms. Reverse shows sun with a monument and date 1918-1988. In 1988 one ounce coins with 38.25mm diameter were produced in three metals, Bronze, Silver 7000 pieces and Gold 495 pieces.
In 1989 they also produced another series of coins having the same obverse side with supported arms but different reverse side, which shows a ship. These coins were produced in three metal having the weight of 31.10g each. 3500 pieces in .999 Silver, 350 pieces in Gold and 350 pieces in .999 Palladium.
All the above coins mentioned can also be seen in Krause Publication "Unusual Coins of the World", 4th edition on page 294.
Chiefa Coins