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Austria’s Judith II Gold Coin Named Most Artistic COTY dated 2014

The Austrian Mint’s Judith II 50 Euro gold coin was named the “Most Artistic Coin” dated 2014 in Krause’s Coin of the Year Awards. The award-winning gold coin is the third in the Mint’s Klimt and his Women series, which honors the work of Gustav Klimt. A prior coin from the collection took home top honors for coins dated 2013.

The coin that won this time around honors Klimt’s painting, Judith II. As described by the Austrian Mint:

Gustav Klimt did not just paint women, he revolutionised the world’s image of them. The third coin in our incomparable Klimt and his Women series, Judith II, in which the saviour of the Israelites is portrayed as a chilling femme fatale, shows this to magnificent effect.

The obverse and reverse were engraved by Mag. Helmut Andexlinger and Herbert Wähner.

Painted in 1909, the life-size portrait on the obverse shows a gaunt and bushy-haired Judith looking to her right as she clutches the severed head of Holoferenes, an Assyrian general who was threatening to destroy her home city of Bethulia. Klimt’s customary swirling art nouveau ornamentation features on this side of the coin as well as on its obverse, which is graced with Nuda Veritas from Klimt’s golden phase.

The reverse features a painting from 1889. The long-haired beauty holding a mirror shows artistic truth without compromise and is a perfect example of Klimt’s artistic vision. This was a vision that led the painter to co-found the Vienna Secession, the artistic movement that rejected the conservatism of the early 20th-century Viennese art world. The reverse also includes the following inscriptions: REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH; 2014; and 50 EURO.

The 50 Euro coin had a mintage of 30,000 and is no longer available from the Austrian Mint. It weighs 10.14 grams and measures 22 mm in diameter.

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