The Austrian Mint has launched a brand new series of collector's coins, to be struck in both silver and copper. This new limited series is entitled the “Angels – Heavenly Messengers” series and as the title might suggest is centred around angels.
For thousands of years people of divergent faith and religions have looked to angels for guidance, protection and even worshipped them. As such angels have been depicted in various art forms for equally as long. The Austrian Mint has taken inspiration from these works of art and created a special four coin series paying homage to four of the most renowned angels.
The first coin in the series has now been released and is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, or Michael the protecting Angel. It is believed by the faithful that carrying a pendant or talisman dedicated to the Archangel Michael(or Saint Michael the Archangel in Catholicism) grants the wearer protection from self-doubt, stimulation of both self-knowledge and self-respect, encouragement of hard work and diligence, and protection from nightmares.
The reverse of this coin depicts a detailed reproduction of Saint Michael defeating the dragon, as illustrated on a 13th century painting. The original painting was a part of the altar in the church of Saint Miquel de Soriguerola in Catalonia, Spain. The painting is today being curated by the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
The obverse in turn depicts popular symbols typically associated with Saint Michael. A flame or wave bladed sword and a pair of scales both superimposed over a stylised letter “M”. A grapevine pattern fills the background, with this element being colourized on the silver coin. Finally the words : “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH”, “10 EURO”, and “2017” complete the design.
The coin measures 32mm(1.2598 inch) in diameter and is issued as a legal tender collector's coin. The sterling silver, .925 Fineness Silver, coin is available in both proof and special uncirculated finishes. The coin has a total weigh of 16.82 gram.
The proof coins come encapsulated in a standard Austrian Mint presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity, for €44.40(US$47). The special uncirculated coins are available in a printed blister pack with the name Michael appearing in English, Hebrew and Arabic, for €34.80(US$37) each. The proof coin has a mintage of 30 000 coins and the special uncirculated 40 000 in turn.
The Austrian mint is also selling a special collectors case that has room for all four of the angel coins planned for the series. The special presentation case is crafted from wood and lined with black velvet and comes in a printed vanity slip cover. The case is available to purchase separately for €39.90(US$42)
After these there will also be an uncirculated coin measuring 32mm(1.25 inch), and weighing 15gram (0.529oz), minted from pure copper. This coin will be released at its face value of €10.00 each with a mintage of 130 000 coins.
The series is set to run for two years, issuing two coins in 2017 and another two in 2018 for a total of four coins in the series. Starting with the Michael The Protecting Angel as the first coin in the series, followed later in 2017 by Gabriel, and by Raphael and Uriel expected to join the series in 2018.