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Bank of Estonia issues commemorative coin marking 150th anniversary of Konstantin Päts' birth

The Bank of Estonia in Tallinn.
The Bank of Estonia in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) is minting a commemorative silver collector's coin, in time for the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Päts, one of the founders of the independent, democratic Estonian state.

Designed by Heino Prunsvelt and minted in Lithuania, the central bank issues the coin on February 23, Päts birthday and also the day before Independence Day in Estonia.

The design, by experienced designer and Estonian Art Academy (EKA) master Heino Prunsvelt, comprises a portrait of Konstantin Päts, his signature, and a fragment of the lions on the state coat of arms (see below).

Each coin will cost €55 and will carry a nominal value of €15. As collector coins they are intended for those purposes and as gifts, not circulation and are only legal tender in the country of issue.

The commemorative coin to be issued on February 23. Source: Bank of Estonia/Eesti Pank

A total of 5,000 of the coins have been minted, to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Päts, and will go on sale from noon on Friday, February 23, at the Bank of Estonia museum shop and at Omniva online stores.

Konstantin Päts (1874-1956), a lawyer, journalist and businessman by trade, is considered one of the most important Estonian politicians of the inter-war period. He was the first president of the Republic of Estonia and held the posts of head of state and prime minister several times.

All in all, he was actively involved through his many different activities in Estonian politics and the social and economic life of Estonia for close to 40 years.

He was born in Tahkuranna on 23 February, 1874, and was one of the founders of the independent, democratic Estonian state as head of the Salvation Committee in 1918, prime minister in the Provisional Government, and speaker of the first Riigikogu.

He was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly and the first five Riigikogu parliaments. He served four times as head of state; the last time as first president of the Republic of Estonia after the elections of 1938. In 1940 after the initial Soviet occupation of Estonia began, he and his family were deported into the Soviet Union. He died in captivity in 1956 in Burashevo in the Kalininsky District, Tver Oblast, while his remains were re-interred in 1990 in the forest cemetery in Tallinn.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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