Monday, March 29, 2010

Austrian Mint Release New "Tales and Legends" Silver Coin

April 14, 2010. Continuing one of their newest and already most popular series', the Austrian Mint has released the 3rd "Tales and Legends" silver coin, being dedicated to the story of the Discovery of the Erzberg (Iron Mountain). The new coin recounts the folktale surrounding the discovery of one of the most important iron ore sources in Europe still in use today, the "Erzberg".

Austria 2010 10€ Discovery Of Erzberg Silver Coin

In the southeast of Austria (near Graz) there once was a very deep dark grotto filled with cold water in which a merman lived. During the day the merman would slip out of the water and warm himself in the sun. The people of the area knew about the merman but were afraid of him because he was enormous and so unusual that most stayed away.

However, legend has it that if you caught a merman, in order to gain his freedom he had to grant you a wish. A few did try but most were afraid of this strange looking merman, which seemed to be too heavy and slippery to catch.

One day, two rather entrepreneurial chaps placed food and drink along the grotto and hoped the sun would appear, all to entice the merman to come to the surface. After several days and nights of waiting, the sun did appear from behind the dark rain clouds and so eventually did the merman. The merman enjoyed the treats he found and in the warmth of the sun he fell asleep. He was suddenly jolted out of his sleep, as a massive dark cloak was thrown over him. He could not free himself from the cloak because it was covered with sticky tar.

The men then secured a leash around his neck and tried to drag him to a cave. The merman struggled and howled so eerily loudly that he was heard all over the land, but the men would not release him. The merman begged for his freedom but to no avail.

Finally, the merman offered the men a deal – “Please release me and I will reward you.” This pleased the men very much and they stopped dragging the merman over the rough trail and asked what he was offering.

Thinking for a moment the merman gave the men a choice: “I will give you gold for a year, silver for ten years, or iron forever.”

The men reflected carefully and decided to benefit from iron forever. The merman told them the location of the Erzberg Mountain that was filled with iron and so they then released him. He slipped back into his grotto and was never seen again. The mountain and its riches continue to be mined to today.

The reverse of the coin depicts two intense-looking men creeping up on a merman armed with a tar-covered cloak held between their hands. The sleeping merman is loosely holding a trident spear in its webbed right hand. The tail of the merman is seen in the scaly body form ending in its partially exposed fin depicted as a sideways “V” shape in lower right of the design along the rocky shoreline. The words “Entdeckung des Erzeberges”, the discovery of the Erzberg, are located along the top edge of the coin.

The obverse of the coin shows a scene of iron ore mining in the Middle Ages. On the left side of the design a miner pushes a cartload of ore out of the mineshaft, while on the right side another miner breaks the up the ore with a pick and hammer. In the background can be seen the distinctive shape (step- like) of the iron mountain, Erzberg. This side of the coin also depicts the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich”, as well as the 2010 year-of-issue and the face value of 10 Euros.

The 10 euro silver coin is struck in 925 fine silver, and is available in either proof with a maximum mintage of 40,000 pieces, or in brilliant uncirculated finish, with a maximum mintage of 30,000 coins. The proof version comes in an official Austrian Mint box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The brilliant uncirculated coin is sold in a colorful and informative bilingual (German and English) blister pack.

A collector album resembling a "classic" book of tales is also available for separate purchase. It is designed to accommodate the complete “Legends and Tales of Austria” series. The interior of the album will hold all six proof coins in capsules on the right side and the certificates of authenticity as well as the promotional brochure on the left.

The series, "Tales and Legends in Austria", will continue in October of this year with a coin marking the capture of Charlemagne in Salzburg, who according to legend slept for several centuries under a mountain near Salzburg.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Austrian Mint Unveils 2010 Issue In Popular Niobium Silver Coin Series

March 10, 2010: The Austrian Mint releases the latest in their series of eye-catching commemorative 25 euro coins, blending the elegance of fine silver with the beauty of coloured niobium. This is the 8th coin in what is undoubtedly the Austrian ints moist successful series, with dedicated collector to part-time numismatic enthusiast all clammering to get their hands on this stunning series.

Austria 2010 25€ Renewable Energy Silver Niobium BU

The reason for such demand would have to be the sheer unparalleled quality of the coins themselves, with the intricate designs we have come to expect from the talented craftsmen at the Mint, coupled with the extraordinary detail in the strike of each coin. The finest example of numismatic quality on the market today, there is no doubt!

The theme of the 2010 silver/niobium coin is renewable energy, a subject perhaps more topical than any other on the planet today. From the Austrian Mint:

Every aspect of our modern world is powered by some form of energy. The global goal for renewable and cleaner energy grows, as world’s natural energy resources are limited and rapidly dwindling. Continuing research and development as well as growing support by legislative and financial entities are all working together to advance the use of renewable clean energy for generations to come.

More and more individuals, corporations and governments are aware of the earth’s limited resources and our collective futures. Clean renewable energy is the way of today and the future. Trillions will be spent on further developing and harnessing renewable resources known today as well as continuing research into additional sources.

As President Obama proclaimed during his inauguration speech, “We will harness the sun, the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” (January 20, 2009)

On the obverse of the coin, set with the vibrant blue niobium, is the image of a tree, used to represent all the vegetation in the world. Coming out of the tree is a spiral design reflecting the continuous cycle of the world's four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. These are represented along the spiral as follows: Fire (the sun in the backgroud providing photosynthesis), Wind (the leaves blowing to the ground), Earth (giving the tree nourishment as well as recycling the fallen leaves) and Water (stylised at the bottom of the outer silver ring, allowing the tree to absord nutrients). The design was created by Helmut Andexlinger and inspired by the theme to "represent the living, breathing system of plants". Also on this side, at the top of the outer silver ring, is the inscription for the country of issue and the nominal face value.

The reverse design features a number of the many types of renewable energy that are in use today. In the centre of it all is the Earth, depicted here in the stylised globe towards the background of the image. Each of the renewable energy sources shown here also follow the pattern of the four elements. Here fire is represented by the sun's rays being captured by solar panels and converted into energy, water driving the hydroelectric water turbine, geothermal heat sources of the Earth are recovered as steam (noted in the two arrows on the left side of the design) in which water is pumped into the depths of the earth (the down arrows with the droplets) and then heat and energy return as steam (the up arrow with the wavy line), and wind is converted to energy by the large wind turbine in the upper left of the coin. Inscribed at the bottom of the coin are the words "Erneuerbare Energie” (Renewable

Each 25 euro 2010 silver niobium brilliant uncirculated coin is struck on a 34mm flan comprised of an outer ring made from 9 grams of 90% fine silver and a core consisting of 7.15 grams of 99.8% pure niobium. The coin is encapsulated and housed in an official Austrian Mint jewel case and outer box, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity confirming the maximum mintage of just 65,000 coins.