The external part of the coin is made of a copper-nickel alloy, the inner part — of three layers: nickel-brass/nickel/nickel-brass
UNC Edge of the coin: LAISVĖ * VIENYBĖ * GEROVĖ (FREEDOM * UNITY* WELL-BEING)
Vladas Oržekauskas (graphic design), plaster model: Giedrius Paulauskis (national side), Luc Luycx (common side)
Description of obverse and reverse
The obverse: the common side of the coin is the same as on €2 circulation coins.
The reverse: the centre of the national side of the coin depicts the architectural landscape of Vilnius, featuring the Bell Tower of Vilnius University, the Tower of the Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard and the domes of an Orthodox church. The words VILNIUS and LIETUVA are inscribed in a semi-circle. The Lithuanian Mint mark is also impressed. The coin’s outer ring bears the 12 stars of the European Union flag.
A brief annotation
Officially, the city of Vilnius was first mentioned on 25 January 1323 in letters by Gediminas, the Grand Duke of Lithuania. Today, such letters would be considered something of a presentation from an up-and-coming startupper, naming the object’s positive qualities and guarantees for future activities of interested entrepreneurs. In his letters, Gediminas invited to Vilnius artisans, merchants and clergy, ensuring them the customary rights, promising tax-exemption for 10 years, relieving newcomers from customs duties and noting that Vilnius, even though a pagan city, was tolerant and had two active Catholic churches. Poet T. Venclova once wrote that ‘despite wars, periods of occupation and demolitions, Vilnius preserved its architectural peculiarities’. The image minted on the coin can still be seen today unchanged – one should only climb to the top of any hill overlooking the city. The past is very much alive in Vilnius, strongly and intensively affecting the present. To the world, as in the times of Gediminas, modern-day Vilnius presents itself as a modern, tolerant, business- and trade-friendly city providing favourable conditions to settle in.