2012 Austria Silver/Niobium €25 Bionik Proof

2012 Austria Silver/Niobium €25 Bionik Proof

As eye-catching, innovative and informative as its predecessors, Bionik, the exquisite purple 2012 addition to our 25 euro Silver Niobium series, pays fitting tribute to how evolution in the natural world acts as a prototype for technology. With a maximum mintage of 65,000 pieces in Special Uncirculated quality only, the coin contains 9 grams of .900 fine silver (ASW 0.26045 oz) in its outer ring nearly 7 grams of 998 pure niobium. Each coin is encapsulated, boxed and comes complete with a numbered certificate guaranteeing its authenticity.

Evolutionary pressure typically forces living organisms to become highly optimised and efficient. A prime example is the water-repellent nature of the lotus flower and of shark skin, a phenomenon fundamental in the development of paint. By the same token, the chambered shell of the nautilus has influenced architectural design and the mechanics of bird flight have clearly inspired aviation. All four of these examples feature on the coin’s obverse, while its reverse focuses on the use of bionics in architecture. A radiolarian, the plankton that inspired Spanish modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, is depicted in the foreground, while the reverse’s background shows an interior view of Munich’s Olympic Stadium, the roof of which was based on findings in bionics.

In 1194, Richard the Lionheart paid 12 tons of Silver to Duke Leopold V of Austria to secure his freedom from a year of incarceration. This act unintentionally laid the foundation for the Austrian Mint, as Duke Leopold had coins struck from Richard the Lionheart’s ransom. In doing so, Leopold set in motion more than 800 years of minting history in Vienna, though it would be another 200 years before the Vienna Mint was mentioned in historical documents.

The Vienna Mint was originally situated near Hoher Merkt and later at various locations in Vienna. Since the first half of the 19th century, the mint has been housed in Heumarkt in central Vienna, where coins are still struck to this day. Minting facilities opened throughout Austria until 1918 when the Republic of Austria was formed and the Vienna Principal Mint became the singular minting facility. In 1989, the name officially changed to the Austrian Mint and became a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank.

One of the Austrian Mint’s most recognized coins is the Maria Teresa Thaler, which is not simply a famous Silver coin, but one that boasts the greatest number minted. Another prime example of the mint’s international success is the Gold Philharmonic, one of the most popular Gold bullion coins worldwide. The Gold Philharmonic has played a vital role in developing the Austrian Mint into a highly successful company. The Austrian Mint’s beautifully crafted coins are minted in the heart of Vienna and are sought after by investors and collectors around the world.

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