2014 Austria Silver/Niobium Evolution €25 BU

2014 Austria Silver/Niobium Evolution €25 BU

This ground-breaking Silver Niobium coin is the most innovative coin in this series. Using two different shades of niobium for the first time, the blue/green, Evolution edition illustrates the story of the development of Homo sapiens from other species.

With a maximum mintage of 65,000 pieces in Special Uncirculated quality only, the coin contains 9 grams of .900 fine silver in its outer ring, and 6.5 grams of 998 pure niobium. The coin has an asw of .26045. Each coin is encapsulated, boxed and comes complete with a numbered certificate guaranteeing its authenticity.

The coin was designed and engraved by mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger. The obverse of the coin depicts the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) as well as RNA (ribonucleic acid) – the keys to evolution. This side of the coin also bears the country of issue “Republik Österreich” Republic of Austria, the face value of 25 euros and the year of issue 2014.

The coin’s reverse deals with the history of human development and the diversity of forms of life brought about by evolution. Helmut included a somewhat stylized DNA chain to enhance the overall complexity of the design on the reverse. The DNA chain represents life, represented by the rest of the design elements on the reverse. The brightly colored toucan captures life’s abundance in the air. The fish and frog represent life in the water and how life evolved into land-based creatures. The mushroom is also included because it is a very complex biological world all on its own, in addition to plants and animals. Air bubbles surround these elements representing the key roll oxygen plays in life.

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800 years of minting history in Vienna, though it would be another 200 years before the Vienna Mint was mentioned in historical documents.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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