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Gaff-Sail Schooner Julia Maria

Gaff-Sail Schooner Julia Maria Gaff-Sail Schooner Julia Maria
TypeSilver coin
MaterialSilver 925°
Issuance Date1996
Nominal Value10 Ls
Maximum Mintage20 000
Weight (g)31.47
Diameter (mm)38.61
Graphic design
Plaster model
MintedValcambi SA (Switzerland)

available: 0


The large coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia, with the year 1995 inscribed below, is placed in the centre. The inscriptions LATVIJAS and REPUBLIKA, each arranged in a semicircle, are above and beneath the central motif, respectively.


The picture of a sailing-ship is depicted in the centre, the inscription GAFELSONERIS · JULIA MARIA · 1895 (Schooner Julia Maria 1895), arranged in a semicircle, is above the picture. The numeral 10 and inscription LATU (lats) are placed beneath the picture


Two inscriptions LATVIJAS BANKA (Bank of Latvia), separated by three stars.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Latvia experienced a golden age in the building of wooden sailing-ships. It was stimulated by the cheap timber and labour, as well as by the attempts of rich farmers, ship-owners-to-be, to gain economic independence. At that time the main types of sailing-ships were two-, three- and four-masted schooners and gaff-sail-schooners. Crews of sailing-ships consisted mainly of Latvians who were educated in the so-called Valdemars' naval colleges (the first such college was founded at Ainazi in 1864). By World War I, about 550 sailing-ships suited for long voyages had been built in Latvia.

The coin's reverse portrays the three-masted gaff-sail schooner Julia Maria (built in 1895). The length of the schooner was 35 metres, the width 8.5 metres, and the height of the tallest mast was 31 metres. The Julia Maria was owned by the brothers Mucenieks, and her crew consisted of a captain, a navigator, 4 sailors and a cook. During her 25 years of life, the Julia Maria made several transatlantic voyages and entered Newport (United Kingdom), Lisbon (Spain), Vlaardingen (Netherlands), Tomso (Norway), Archangel (Russia), Trinidad (America, West Indies) and other ports. The gaff-sail schooner sank in the North Sea in 1920.

The coin's obverse features the large coat of arms of the Republic of Latvia.

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