Austria Gets Best Bi-Metallic for 2014 COTY

Austria’s 25-euro silver and niobium coin (KM#3227), which highlights the science of evolution, won best “Bi-Metallic Coin” for coins dated 2014 in the Krause Coin of the Year Awards. Part of the Austrian Mint’s Silver Niobium series, the stunning coin, which is dated 2014, is the first to feature different shades of niobium (blue and green).

Helmut Andexlinger of the Austrian Mint designed and engraved the revolutionary coin. “This is the most complex design I have ever produced, in addition to the very complex design theme, there were a number of technical challenges that had to be addressed in order to make the design technically feasible to manufacture,” he stated. The Mint used a combination of computer design technology and old-school coin engraving to accurately strike the coin design in two colors on the bimetallic blank.

The revolutionary coin celebrates the development of homo sapiens from other species. To determine what elements should be included, Andexlinger worked with a doctor of biochemistry, Dr. Renée Schroeder, a member of the Faculty of Medicine and professor at the University of Vienna. “This was a very difficult theme to present because it is such a complex subject,” Andexlinger stated.

The obverse of the coin depicts DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid), which are considered the keys to evolution. The obverse also includes related symbols and scientific instruments. The inscriptions include the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich” (Republic of Austria), the face value of 25 euros, and the year of issue, color 2014.

The reverse illustrates the history of human development, and the diverse forms of life that resulted from evolution. A brightly-colored toucan reflect the abundance of life in the sky. Meanwhile, a fish and frog represent the creatures of the water and how life evolved into land-based creatures. The mushroom is included due to its biological complexity. Air bubbles on the outer edge represent the key roll oxygen plays in life.

The coin contains 9 grams of 900 fine silver in its outer ring and 6.5 grams of 998 pure niobium. Its total diameter is 34 mm. The mintage was limited to 65,000.

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