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The Golden Horses

The obverse of the coin depicts two horses with their right legs raised up and with crowns upon their heads, the inscription "5 EURO" is semi-circled to the left of the coin.

The reverse features a carriage wheel in the centre of the coin, the inscription "LATVIJA" is semi-circled above it slightly to the left, the year "2023" is placed under the picture slightly to the right.


The theme of the golden horse is widely represented both in Latvian mythology and that of other peoples. In Latvian folklore – the mythological poems – the golden horse is an attribute of the sun and sky deities. It is part of the Indo-European, including Latvian, mythology linked to seasonal themes and the passage of the day.

In ancient times, people distinguished between two seasons – the cold season with the invisible, dead sun of the winter, and the warm season with the awakened, warm sun. In folk tales, the sun is embodied by the princess who must be freed from the stagnation of the winter. This is done by the spring deity – in Latvian folklore, Ūsiņš whose name originates from the verb "rise" – or the father's third son, a folk tale character. There are only three ways to reach the sun on the heavenly mountain: by a copper horse, which embodies the forces of the underworld and waters; by a silver horse, which combines the forces of the earth and its surface; by a golden horse, which entails the divine power or the power granted to the hero by deities. 

The gold coin is dedicated to the theme of the golden horse. The graphic design of the coin was created by Ivars Heinrihsons. In the words of the artist, the coin's content is inspired by a popular Latvian folk song and the golden Latvian sea as well as by the ancient Greek myth of the horses pulling the chariot of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Both inspirations are brought together by the supernatural manifestation of radiance in the form of horses. Associatively and visually, gold is linked to the sun, the "golden saddle" – to its radiance in the sea.

For Latvians and their other closely related peoples, the colour of gold is associated with divinity and celestial deities, most of all, the Sun as a deity.

Face value: 5 euro
Weight: 1.24 g
Diameter: 13.92 mm
Metal: 999.9° gold
Quality: proof
Maximum mintage: 2 500
Struck in 2023 by UAB Lietuvos monetų kalykla (Lithuania)

Graphic design: Ivars Heinrihsons
Plaster model: Jānis Strupulis