Austrian Mint’s Milky Way Coin Wins 2021-dated COTY  “Most Innovative”

The Austrian Mint took home top honors in the Most Innovative Coin Category in the Coin of the Year Awards (COTY) for coins dated 2021. It unique s-shaped 20 Euro Milky Way coin is the first in the Austrian Mint’s The Uncharted Universe series.

As described by the Austrian Mint, our understanding of the Milky Way has evolved over time, largely in response to advances in technology. The galaxy got its name from the ancient Greeks who associated the milky band of light that we see when we look into the clear night sky with Heracles, who as a baby sucked on the goddess Hera’s breast so hard that she withdrew it from his mouth, spilling her milk over the sky.

In 1610, Galileo Galilei first viewed the Milky Way using a telescope, discovering that the galaxy actually consists of countless individual stars, including our sun. In 1920, Edwin Hubble revealed that the Milky Way is just one among many galaxies. According to the Austrian Mint, “Although this made the earth seem increasingly insignificant, the smaller the planet felt, the greater our knowledge of outer space became and the more we began to understand our physical place in the cosmos.”

Austrian Mint’s Milky Way Coin Wins 2021-dated COTY  “Most Innovative”

The Milky Way coin is curved in a similar way to our galaxy, although it appears smooth when viewed from the side. Designed by Mag. Helmut Andexlinger, the Austrian Mint’s Head Engraver, the coin relies on the combination of the convex and the concave surfaces to create the stunning effect.

The Milk Way coin’s obverse features an S-shaped silver surface upon which the Milky Way is depicted. The angular dimensions of the galactic coordinate system show the position of the sun in relation to the rest of our galaxy. The position of the Orion Arm, in which our solar system is located, is also marked, as are the positions of the astronomical phenomena Cygnus X-1 and Crab Pulsar. Lettering on the obverse includes the minting date (2021), value of the coin (20 EURO), and REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH.

The coin’s reverse features the same image of the spiraled Milky Way. However, it features an impressive color-printed form. It also includes the lettering MILCHSTRASSE, which is Milky Way in Austrian.

The non-circulating coin has a face value of 20 Euros. It measures 34 mm in diameter and weighs 20.74 grams. Mintage was limited to 30,000.

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