The Austrian Mint has released the final coin in the Federal Provinces series, that has also come to be known as the Austria Piece by Piece series or the Austria by it's children series.
The final coin in this 10 coin set is dedicated to the Austrian Republic as a whole, and not to a single province as the previous coins were. This represents the culmination of a series that first began in 2012. Naturally when I say ten coins, I should really say twenty as each of the ten designs were released in both silver and copper variants.
The idea for the series was to celebrate celebrate the Austrian landscape and cultural heritage, both past and future. Each coin was dedicated to a different province of Austria, often depicting a UNESCO world heritage site or UNESCO intangible heritage unique to the communities depicted on the coins. The reverse design of the coins were chosen as a part of a national competition where school children were asked to design a coin based on their local province. Hence the Austria by it's children moniker.
The obverse in turn was designed by the Austrian Mint's master engravers and artists, often depicting the same subject matter as the reverse side. There should then be no surprise that here too both sides have an Alpine landscape as a central depiction.
A class from the Dr Jonas primary school, in the town of Kapfenberg, was chosen to design the reverse of the Austria coin. It features an outline of Austria, draped in the national colours with a heart at the centre, supporting a picturesque Alpine landscape. This scene is surrounded by ten smiling children holding hands.
The reverse in turn was designed by Thomas Pesendorfer, who also designed the renowned Vienna Philharmonic coin. The design features the heraldic(escutcheon) emblem of Austria that has featured on so many coins from Austria's past. To the right can be seen a depiction of Franz Joseph I, who was Emperor of Austria from 1848 until his passing in 1916. Just below him is Mozart playing the piano and at the bottom is a sculpted rendition of Gustav Klimt's Mother and Child from 1905.
The background is dominated by Alpine terrain with a skier coming down the mountain on the left. The date of issue and denomination seemingly appearing in the powdery snow to the lower left of the coin. “10”, “EURO” and 2016 appearing in three lines. Slightly offset to the top left of the coin is the inscription “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” appears along the raised rim.
The coin is issued firstly in a 1/2oz sterling silver coin(16gram fine weight or 17.3 gram total weight). The silver coin is released in both proof and special uncirculated finishes. The second variant is a 15 gram pure copper(.999 Fineness) coin in an uncirculated finish. Both coins measuring 32mm(1.2598 inch ) in diameter.
The copper coin is sold raw at it's face value of €10 each, with a mintage of 130 000 coins expected. The silver uncirculated coin is issued in a protective blister pack style card, printed to match the coin's theme. A total mintage of 40 000 uncirculated coins has been issued and they can be obtained for around €33.60(US$37.50) at the time of issue. The proof coin is sold in the Austrian Mint's characteristic red velvet display box and is issued with a numbered certificate of authenticity and protective slip case. The silver proof coin carries a total mintage figure of 30 000 coins and is sold for €39.60(US$44.20).
All of these coins can be ordered directly from the Austrian Mint or from your trusted international coin dealer. The entire Austrian Federal Provinces series can be viewed in the WNN Gallery section, HERE.