Denomination: 5 euro
Theme: Coin of the Seasons
Metal: Silver 925°
Weight: 22.00 gram
Diameter: 35.00 mm
Obverse: The inner part of the obverse features the Sun surrounded by the images of four farm labourers, each depicted in an activity typical for one of the four seasons: a woodcutter (winter), a sowing man (spring), a crop harvester (summer), and a thresher (autumn). The ancient names of season-concluding months are circled along the outer ring of the obverse: the Candle Month, the Leaf Month, the Rye Month and the Frost Month. The inscription 5 EURO is placed to the right of the centre.
Reverse: The inner part of the reverse shows a potato with straws stuck into it, a traditional interior decoration of ancient Latvians. It is surrounded by the images representing the Latvian seasonal traditions: Father Christmas, a girl swinging at Easter, a Midsummer celebrant, and mummers who roamed farmsteads from Martinmas to Shrovetide. The names of ancient seasonal celebrations are circled along the outer ring of the reverse: CHRISTMAS, SHROVETIDE, EASTER, ŪSIŅI, JĀŅI, MĀRAS (the days of Ūsiņš, Jānis, Māra and Miķelis), and MARTINMAS. Going up to the right of the centre, there is the slantwise inscription LATVIJA, and the year 2014 is placed on the right hand side.
The UNESCO events calendar for 2014 includes, among others, the 300th anniversary of the Latvian writer, linguist and thinker Gotthard Friedrich Stender (1714–1796), thus celebrating his fundamental contribution in the area of culture, education and science, including inter-cultural dialogue.
G. F. Stender (nicknamed Vecais Stenders, Old Stenders) is an outstanding representative of the 18th century Enlightenment. He was a German born in the pastoral estate of Laši (now Eglaine), Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. He studied philosophy and theology at Universities of Jena and Halle and served both as a pastor and as an inventor (he made globes for the royal court of Denmark; provided a method for determining the geographical longitude at sea, and even constructed a primitive washing machine). In 1765, he returned to his native land and spent the last thirty years of his life to enlighten and educate the Latvian serfs.
Old Stenders is considered the founder of Latvian secular literature: he wrote fairy-tales, fables, short stories and popular songs; he compiled ABCs in Latvian and performed tasks essential for the formation of a cultural nation: writing a grammar of the Latvian language and putting together a Latvian–German and German–Latvian dictionary.
Old Stenders' most outstanding work is his "Book of High Wisdom on the World and Nature" (1774), in fact, the first peasant encyclopaedia in Europe. There, Old Stenders explains natural phenomena and the basic principles of physics and astronomy, including rotating of the Earth around its axis and around the Sun, and gives basic insights into issues related to meteorology, zoology, botany, chemistry and geography as well as tells his readers about mountains and deserts, earthquakes and volcanoes, seas and rivers.
Old Stenders may not have had the range of other figures of the Enlightenment like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, or Johann Gottfried Herder, yet his contribution to the evolution of Latvian nation is invaluable. He taught Latvians to think and was the first to offer praise to his native land in poetry. Confirming his unity with the emerging Latvian nation, he had his headstone in Sunākste (now Viesīte region) supplemented with the word "Latwis" – Latvian.
The obverse of the coin dedicated to Old Stenders has borrowed the theme from the title page of the first edition of the "Book of High Wisdom on the World and Nature": a pastor is showing a boy how full of wonders this world is. The reverse of the coin features the progressive idea of the world, the heliocentric concept of the universe.