header Notes Collection

500 Latu 1992, Latvia

in Krause book Number: 48
Years of issue: 20.07.1998
Signatures: Bank Governor: Einars Repše
Serie: 1992 Issue
Specimen of: 1992
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 130 x 65
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Muenchen

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

500 Latu 1992



50 Latu 1992

Latvian girl in national headdress - Milda. Allegory of Latvia.


500 Latu 1992

The stylized oak leaves that are viewed through.

On top are 3 Braille dots for visually impaired.

Patterns from a bronze wreath - a subject of the Latvian national clothes - are on background.


The prototype of the girls in folk costume became a senior proofreader of the Latvian State Securities Printing House Zelma Brauere (1900-1977), which youth, beauty and warmth attracted Richard Zariņš, when he was 50 years old. Image of Zelma Brauere in various forms is on the drawings, created by him, on banknotes in denominations of 10 and 20 Latu issued in 1930s, 500 Latu, issued in 1992-2014 and the coins 5 Lati 1929-1932 and 1 and 2 Euro.

"One of the most striking images in Latvian folk songs - tautumeita ("woman of the people"), which appears bright like snow, and illuminates everything that is near," - describes the Bank of Latvia the woman, whose image today adorns the Latvian euro coins.

How and who was immortalized on the Latvian coins and banknotes?

It happened in the back, in the days of the First Republic - the image of the so-called Milda decorated silver 5 Lati coin.

Once in 1918 Latvia became independent, there was talk in the community about all the possible variants of the name of the national currency. There have been proposals to name the money "oaks" and "acorns", "sun" and "austra", "Ligo" and "Daile", "large" and "small" (ozoli, zīles, saule, austra, līga, daile, dižā, sīkā). The term "Lat" was heavily criticized.

The last word on this issue belonged to the head of the Cabinet - Siegfried Meierovics, that on August 3, 1922 decided, that the money will be named Latvian Lats and Santims.

But Milda had to wait another seven years before, as long as her picture finally placed on silver coin. At the time, the Ministry of Finance has decided that the Latvian money should be decorated with the "face of the Virgin", symbolizing freedom. By the way, the image of the native girl began to call by people Milda purely by analogy with one of the most common female names in Latvia.

The Academy of Arts was launching a competition in which it was necessary to find the image of "virgin". The competition won Karlis Zemdega. But the version of Zemdega was not taken, as his work criticized by the Ministry of Finance, stating that "tautumeita need to be not only well drawn from a technical point of view, but also symbolize the Latvian national image".

As a result, the work by Karlis Zemdega was corrected by 50-year-old publisher Rihards Zariņš. And as the model he chose was the 29-year-old Zelma Brauere, worked as a proofreader. Zelma was a graduate of philology and spoke fluent in seven languages.


Correcting the image of Zemdega, Zariņš also gave the face a little Zelma's prominent charming smile, like the Mona Lisa's face ... And "tautumeita" immediately became to radiate femininity and kindness.

Zelma had a difficult fate. In 1935, at the Krustpils airport, in accident, died her fiance, the pilot, after which she never been married. All her life she lived in Pardaugava, in a wooden house on the street Maza Nometnju, 59. The house is preserved until now. Tragically died in 1977 - she was knocked by motorcyclist. She was buried in the Lachupes cemetery in folk costume - in same, as she depicted on the famous 5 Lati coin.

Here is a video on the topic, in English, the duration is 4 and a half minutes.

Lielvarde Belt

On right side is Latvian national ornament, taken after Lielvarde Belt.

The Lielvārde belt is regarded as an outstanding example of a hand-woven adornment, a two-colored (red, white), patterned combination with the middle or the edges interwoven with a green or, more rarely, blue or purple thread, and with a variable motif (geometric pattern). Historically, its geographic distribution was Jumprava, Kastrāne, Krape, Laubere, Lēdmane, Lielvārde, Madliena, Meņģele, and Rembate parishes. Although traditional belts from elsewhere in the country stand out with their rich ornamentation, only the Lielvārde belt has become the basis for a modern myth of the belt’s very ancient origins, the cosmic code that is written into it, and its special powers of protection. In Latvian contemporary culture, the Lielvārde belt leads its own independent, symbolic existence in people’s consciousness and its motifs are often used in contemporary culture.

This independent life began with director Ansis Epners’s documentary "Lielvārdes josta" (The Lielvārde Belt; 1980) whose script was written by Estonian graphic artist Tenu Vint. Comparing the Lielvārde belt ornamentation with other national and cultural patterns, Vint raised the hypothesis that this belt had preserved the information code of an ancient civilization; that the story of the universe was inscribed therein. A German mystic and healer by the name of Dina Ries, encouraged by Latvian Rasma Rozīte, "read" the belt’s ancient information in 1986. The Lielvārde belt was one of the most powerful symbols in the years of Latvian national awakening movement in the late 1980s and has not lost its importance even today.

The information that ornamented belts in antiquity were not used only as a personal adornment but also served to protect the wearer is found in a number of traditions, although that does not necessarily mean that the Lielvārde belt must have been a part of, for instance, a priest’s clothing. The scenario for the origins of the Universe read into the belt; the belt as a meditative system; as a yet untested piece of knowledge of the Universe may or may not be true: much will depend on what and how we want to see. One thing is more or less clear, however: it is the Lielvārde belt that possesses a mythical power far beyond that of other belts and it is not because of the technology used in making it or because of its complicated patterns or beautiful colors, but because of its powerful symbolism.

Māras krusts

The base of ornament consist of traditional squares, which named Māras krusts (The cross of Mara, also the cross of crosses).

The symbol of perfection and fertility. Mara is a protector of health, custodian of women and supplier of bread. Protects against evil spirits. (Māras zīme latv.)

Denominations in numerals are in bottom left and top right corners. Lower left in words.


500 Latu 1992

Patterns from a bronze wreath - a subject of the Latvian national clothes.

Latvian coat of arms is in bottom right corner.

coat coat

The image of the golden rising sun with 11 wide wavy rays, between which there were 10 narrow wavy rays, was also placed in the azure upper half of the shield of the State Emblem of the Republic of Latvia, approved on June 16, 1921 by the Constitutional (Constituent) Assembly of Latvia, the draft of which was created by the returnee from Petrograd by the graphic artist Rihards Germanovich Zariņš, together with Vilis Krūmiņš, (the artist himself signed "Zarrinsh" in Russian, Rihards Zariņš, 1869-1939), who until 1917 held the position of technical and artistic director of the Expedition of Preparing State Papers (EZGB ) Of the Russian Empire and the Provisional Government (according to his projects, banknotes and postage stamps of the All-Russian Provisional Government were issued in 1905-1917).

The lower half of the shield of the Latvian coat of arms was cut, in the right silver field was depicted a wormy rebellious lion from the historical coat of arms of Courland and Semigale, symbolizing Kurzeme and Zemgale, and a silver griffin from the historical coat of arms of Livonia, symbolizing Vidzeme and Latgale.

Above the shield, three golden five-pointed stars were depicted in an arc of a circle, touching each other with two rays, symbolizing the unity of the three historical parts of Latvia - Kurzeme and Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale. ( .ru)

Denominations in numerals are in bottom left corner and on the top, centered. Top left in words.


Designers: silkscreen specialist Valdis Ošiņš and architect Imants Žodžiks.

Milda Milda

Milda Milda Milda Milda

In my collection I also have the coins with native girl image - Milda (Zelma Brauere).

Designer of Milda image: Rihards Zariņš.

Rihards Zariņš

Rihards Zariņš (also Richards Zarriņš or Richard Sarrinsch in German speaking countries; Kocēni, June 27, 1869 - Riga, April 21, 1939) was a prominent Latvian graphic artist.

He was born in Kocēni and grew up in Līgatne and later in Grīva. He pursued his studies in St. Petersburg, where he graduated in 1895 from the Stieglitz Central School for Technical Drawing. He then went on to further studies in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, where he studied lithography, and Paris, where he honed his skills in watercolour and pastels.

He returned to Russia where he was employed by the Russian Imperial Printing Office in St. Petersburg for 20 years, acting as technical director. From 1905 he was in charge of designing state papers. In 1919, he returned to newly independent Latvia where he was appointed director of the government printing house. He held that position for over 14 years and retired at the beginning of 1934. After a stroke, he lost his ability to speak; however, he continued to draw until the last day of his life.

Zariņš was one of the best-known Latvian graphic artists. His first works appeared in the early 1890s on the pages of the then-popular Latvian-language magazine, "Austrums" (The East), when he was still a student at the Stieglitz art school. He dedicated a great amount of time in the study of folk ornamentation, and under his leadership, the state publishers produced a monumental work on Latvian decorative arts.

During his career, the artist designed many stamps of the Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, Belarusian People’s Republic, and Latvia. He is an author of the very first Soviet stamps issued in 1918.

Zariņš was a prolific artist who produced many book illustrations, engravings and lithographs. His oeuvre also contains drawings, water-colour painting, and caricatures. Among his works of applied art are the design of the Latvian coat of arms as well as several designs for bank notes issued by the Printing Office, and several coins of the Latvian lats.