Sunday, May 20, 2012

Austrian Mint Issue First in New "Austria, by its Children" Silver Coin Program

April 25, Vienna – The Austrian Mint will issue today the first of a new 10 coin series “Austria, by its Children.” The coin series celebrates Austria through its children, what children are proud of and speak about when they speak of their home.  The Austrian Mint invited the junior citizens of the country to draw their home province. Over the next five years the winning design for each province will be immortalized on the reverse of each of the 10 euro silver coins celebrating the nine provinces of Austria, while the final tenth coin will celebrate the country of Austria as a whole.

Austria 2012 10€ Styria Silver Proof

The other side of each coin will feature a UNESCO world heritage site located in the respective province.  The first coin of the series honors the federal province of Styria, located in the center of Austria.

The reverse of the first 2 coins to be issued this year coin were designed by 10 year olds Ms. Viktoria Reicht and Philip Ogris.   Their designs were anonymously selected from the thousands submitted through a competition in which all children aged 9 and 10 were invited to submit a design about their home province of Styria.

Viktoria’s delightful design for the reverse features first and foremost the mountains of her home and the "green” heart in the center of it all.  Of course, the many forests, trees, apples and the fields of sunflowers that she associates with Styria are prominent in her design as well.  The design is completed with a couple of pumpkins which Styria is well known for and from which the famous pumpkin seed oil is produced.   Finally, the fresh streams that run throughout the region also “run” along the bottom edge of her design.  Viktoria became somewhat of a celebrity in her hometown of Kirchbach and province upon winning this competition.

Philip Ogris’ design was selected to celebrate the province of Carinthia (Kaernten) and is the second coin in the series that will be issued on September 26, 2012.  Philip, who has ten cats and would one day like to be a veterinarian, drew “ibexes” (the legendary Lindwurm of Klagenfurt), the crystal clear waters of the W├Ârthersee, and the shinning sun to depict his southern home province of Carinthia - all in just 15 minutes! Philip attends a bilingual primary school near the Austrian border with Slovenia, which is why he has captured the name of his province in both German and Slovenian.   Philip hopes his success will make him famous all over Austria.

The Mint’s Chief Engraver Thomas Pesendorfer carefully engraved Viktoria’s reverse design for the coin, staying true to her design and enhancing it with the fine 3 dimensional details that Austrian’s coins are so well known for.  Some of the elements for which Viktoria originally used color to highlight have been carefully engraved to highlight their prominence.  For example, the heart shape in which the word “Steiermark” or Styria is located was a green color to represent Styria, the green heart of Austria.

The obverse of the Styria coin features the old center of the city of Graz, the capital of the province of Styria. Near the top of the design one notes the famous clock tower.  Progressing to the front of the design the coin captures: the town hall (the provincial building of Styria), the baroque cathedral, and in right foreground is the Palace of Eggenberg.  The old core of the city is lovingly maintained by its citizens and is has been honored as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Also located on this obverse side of each coin is the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich” Republic of Austria, the year of issue 2012 and the face value of 10 euros.  This commemorative coin is legal tender in Austria.

The Styria coin will be available in two finishes, Proof and Uncirculated, with a maximum mintage of 30,000 and 40,000 respectively.  The proof coins come encapsulated in a presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.  The special uncirculated are available in the blister pack with a definite Styrian design on the sleeve. The coin will also be available in Austria only in the regular circulation finish and struck in copper.  The copper coins have a rilled edge whereas the silver coins have a smooth edge.