A million 2 euro coins with the word AČIŪ will teach Europeans the Lithuanian language

On Monday, 14 December, the Bank of Lithuania issued into circulation the first Lithuanian 2 euro commemorative coin, which is dedicated to the Lithuanian language. These Lithuanian coins, the mintage of which is one million, may be used for payments not only in Lithuania, but also in other countries using the euro. The launch of the new coin took place at the Writers Hall at the Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University.

‘With the first Lithuanian commemorative coin, we spread the word about our remarkable language — it is believed to be the most archaic living Indo-European language. The coin bears the word AČIŪ (‘Thank you’). This is one of the first words that children and foreigners learn; it is often used in our daily life. The word also reflects the Lithuanian language and is beautifully linked to the theme of money. After all, each payment for goods or services, in a sense, is a materialised way of expressing gratitude,’ said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.

Antanas Smetona, Dean of the Faculty of Philology at Vilnius University and author of the brochure to be issued together with the coin, stated that, in terms of users, the Lithuanian language cannot compare to the major languages of the world; however, it is not among the smallest ones. Nowadays almost 4.5 million people across the world speak it. The majority — approximately 3 million — live in Lithuania. The largest Lithuanian diasporas are located in the US, the UK and Germany, whereas Lithuanian communities can be found in 41 nations worldwide. There are approximately 200 institutions abroad, concentrating on Lithuanian studies: they act as a beacon of the Lithuanian language.

The Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania thanked the artist Liudas Parulskis for the created graphic image of the coin. ‘We thank you for this AČIŪ. To use this word on the coin dedicated to the Lithuanian language is a simple, yet beautiful idea’, said V. Vasiliauskas. ‘A curious coincidence: we started the year with a piece of work by this designer, a gold collector coin dedicated to coinage in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and we end it with another one.’


 Designers of the national side of the coin Liudas Parulskis and Giedrius Paulauskis (photo by T. Lukšys, BFL).


Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, and Prof. Rimantas Jankauskas, Vice-Rector of Vilnius University (photo by T. Lukšys, BFL)

 Since the adoption of the European Union’s single currency — the euro — in Lithuania on 1 January 2015, the Bank of Lithuania may issue not only circulation, but Lithuanian collector and commemorative coins as well. This year, collector coins on six topics and two commemorative coins were issued. In addition to the commemorative coin dedicated to the Lithuanian language, the Bank of Lithuania, together with 18 other countries that have adopted the euro, issued a 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the EU flag.




Photos by T. Lukšys, BFL

The commemorative 2 euro coins dedicated to the Lithuanian language were minted at the UAB Lithuanian Mint. The mintage of the coin is 1 million, including 10 thousand of a higher (BU) quality in a numismatic package. Designers of the national side of the coin were Liudas Parulskis and Giedrius Paulauskis.

At its Cash Offices, the Bank of Lithuania offers for sale coins in a numismatic package (the price per package is €9). The remaining mintage is issued to banks as normal circulation currency; it will not be possible to obtain coins at the Bank’s Cash Offices at their nominal value.

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