Latvia, 1995

Latvia, one of the Baltic republics, with two million inhabitants, regained independence in 1991 after the fall of the USSR, and has been part of the European Union since 2004. The first cards used in public telephones had been provided by Alcatel and used dual magnetic stripe technology. However, after only two years, in 1997, Alcatel cards were replaced by more modern and secure electronic chip cards.
The first issue included four different values: 2 Lats, depicting a hilly landscape (circulation 800,800), 5 Lats, which reproduced the castle of Turaida in Sigulda, from the thirteenth century (200,800), 10 Lats, with the photo of the Freedom Monument, in Riga (100,800), and finally a value of 1 Lats, which was used as a complimentary card and is the real rare piece of the series, as it was produced in only 500 copies.