Latvia 1-LATS (KM86) Owl
When Latvia switched to the "new Lats" currency in 1993, the Bank of Latvia decided to diversify the design of the money by issuing 1-lats coins depicting signs, images, and events characteristic of Latvia.
The 2007 coin featured an owl fibula. In this case, "fibula" does not refer to the smaller of the two bones in the leg. Instead, it is an archeological term meaning a brooch or clasp.
The bank provides this description:
The large, silver-clad owl fibulae were widespread in the territory populated by the Balt tribes (Letgallians, Semigallians and Courlanders) in the second half of the Middle Iron Age (8th and 9th centuries) and were used for fastening men's clothing. Approximately 30 owl fibulae (of them 20 Letgallian owl fibulae) have been found in the present-day territory of Latvia, and some also in Lithuania and Estonia. As the process was rather labour-consuming, outstanding craftsmanship skills were required for producing them. Owl fibulae have been found in the burial grounds of rich persons and could be considered an object of prestige at that time.
- Diameter: 21.7 mm
- Composition: Copper-Nickel
- CAT#: KM86