Lithuania has a long standing tradition of issuing commemorative silver coins to celebrate the Olympic games, dating back to 1996 when the first 50 Litas Silver coin was issued.
Every four years since then the Lithuanian Mint(in co-operation with the Central Bank of Lithuania) has issued a unique silver collector's coin to mark the countries participation in the Summer Olympic Games. Each year a different sport has been chosen to feature on the coin, first was basketball(1996) then came discus(2000), cycling(2004), track(2008) and finally sailing(2012). The theme is chosen from a sport that Lithuanian athletes excel at when the coin is designed. As a result an urban legend was born that the silver coin will predict in what sport the Lithuanian athletes will win medals in.
For the 2016 Rio Olympics silver commemorative coin, the chosen theme is swimming. Swimming was chosen for the 2016 theme largely as a result of the remarkable success achieved by the young Lithuanian swim star Rūta Meilutytė. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, while still only 15 years old, she took home the gold, in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, and has been steadily breaking records and winning competitions ever since.
The coin features a refreshingly clean design with open, clean fields taking up most of the surface of the coin. Instead of trying to fit as much as possible onto the design, Rūta Nicajienė and Giedrius Paulauskis have chosen instead to feature only one crisp image to dominate the obverse and reverse sides of the coin.
The reverse side of the coin thusly draws the main theme with the image of a single swimmer in mid competition. The athletes arms outstretched to their sides with water splashing all around. The reverse legend is written in a semi-circle with “RIO DE ŽANEIRAS” at the top and “2016” at the bottom. The mintmark of the Lithuanian Mint appears slightly offset to the lower left of the coin.
The obverse is again similarly sparsely populated. The main feature is the image of the armour-clad mounted rider wielding a sword and shield. This depiction of the of the Lithuanian national Coat of Arms, also known as the Vytis, is positioned slightly to the lower right of the coin. To the upper left had side is the logo of the LTOK(Lietuvos Tautinis Olimpinis Komitetas), or the National Lithuanian Olympic committee. The denomination of “20€” or twenty Euros appears to the lower left of the obverse design.
The coin features edge lettering that reads : “XXXI OLIMPIADOS ŽAIDYNĖS”(GAMES OF THE XXXI OLYMPIAD). The proof sterling silver(.925 Fineness) coin has a weight of 28.28gram(.909oz). The crown sized coin has a diameter of 38.61mm(1.52 inch) and carries a limited mintage of 7000 coins. The coin looks set to retail for around €70.00(US$77.00) each contained in a protective display box.