Lithuania carries the distinction of being the first country to declare it's independence from the former Soviet Union in the early nineties, having first done so on March 11, 1990. A series of events unfolded after this with Russia trying to hold on to it's control of the region. However, after the Soviet August Coup and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union there was simply no stopping the movement for independence. Lithuania received widespread recognition and finally became a member of the United Nation on 17 September 1991.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of this day the Lithuanian Mint is issuing a special 20 Euro commemorative silver coin, designed by Rūta Ničajienė. The 25th anniversary of the consolidation of independence silver €20.
The reverse of the coin features an ornate border that is comprised of the flags from the first nations to officially recognize Lithuanian independence. Special attention is given to two flags towards the bottom half of the coin. Firstly, to the left, is the flag of the Republic of Lithuania which was suspended after the Soviet and German occupation during the Second World War. This flag was again adopted in 1988 as the independence movement was gaining ground. Then, to the right, we have the flag of Iceland who was the first country to openly recognize Lithuanian independence. The logo of the United Nations along with the date “1991 09 17” is engraved at the top centre of the reverse design. This is the date that Lithuania became a full member of the U.N. And was officially welcomed by the world as a fully independent state.
The coin's obverse depicts a stylized version of the Lithuanian Coat of Arms – also known as a Vytis. An armour clad rider, on horseback, wielding a sword and shield. The word “LIETUVA”(Lithuania) is inscribed to the top with the date of issue, “2016”, appearing at the bottom. The coin's denomination is noted to the left of the emblem as “20 €” and finally the mintmark is engraved to the right.
The minimalist design of the coin with it's unpopulated fields and sparing use of both colour finishes for the flag border and engraved elements lends it an elegant eye appeal. Although the very lack of detail could make the coin undesirable to international collectors, as the coin's subject matter is not readily apparent to an uninformed collector.
The coin is struck from sterling(.925 Fineness) silver to a crown sized(38.61 mm / 1.52 Inch) round, weighing 28.28 gram. The designer is Rūta Ničajienė, and it has a limited mintage of 4000 coins. The coin will only be issued in a proof quality, and is expected to retail for around €70.00(US$78.00) each.