October 3rd, 2013

New from the Austrian Mint

Voralberg AgOn October 16, the Austrian Mint will issue the fourth silver coin in its series, “Austria, by its Children.” The new coin features the area located the furthest west in Austria, the Province of Voralberg.

The charming naïve depiction of Voralberg on the reverse of the coin is by 9-year-old, Alissa De Mori who lives in the region in the village of Hoerbranz. She has included the best known parts of the province, including three mountain peaks with coniferous forests, and a cable car just in front. A classic eastern European baroque church can also be seen with its characteristic onion dome on the steeple. Lake Constance is depicted with some of its many recreational boating uses. In the foreground is a lovely meadow covered with an abundance of flowers and grasses, along with a farm tractor and a cow. The mint’s chief engraver Thomas Pesendorfer worked with Alissa to adapt her design by “translating” its original colors into a three dimensional design that could be readily struck onto a coin.

The obverse of the coin depicts a lady wearing a spectacular handmade round bonnet crafted in gold lame lace – a tradition in this province. Both the skills to make these bonnets, as well as the bonnets themselves, are passed on from generation to generation. They have been registered as cultural world heritage items that need to be guarded for global safekeeping. These bonnets are time-consuming works of art, with each representing an average of 300 hours of handwork. The lady’s dress is the traditional “tracht” of the province which has been made even more dramatic with the inclusion of the finely worked lace collar. In the background is one of the many boats that ply the waters of beautiful Lake Constance. The “onion domed” baroque church of St. Martin’s in Bregenz completes the design on this side. Mr. Pesendorfer designed and engraved the obverse of the coin.

Blister, VorarlbergThe coin’s obverse also features the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich” Republic of Austria, the year of issue 2013, the face value of 10 euros and the name of the region, Voralberg. This commemorative coin is legal tender in Austria.

The mountainous region of Voralberg is in the far western corner of Austria bordering Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. A small eastern corner of Lake Constance is the setting for the provincial capital city of Bregenz. The mountains and distance from the Austrian capital of Vienna has meant that much of its economy relies on Switzerland. Even the dialect of German spoken here is much more closely related to Swiss-German rather than the predominant Austrian-German of the rest of the country. The region is well known for its many dairy farms, cheese-making, world-class skiers and of course, the Bregenz Opera festival occurring every July and August on a floating stage in Lake Constance.

The 925 silver Voralberg coin is legal tender and will be available in two finishes, Proof and Special Uncirculated, with a maximum mintage of 30,000 and 40,000 respectively. The proof coins come encapsulated in a presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Each coin contains 16 grams of fine silver and has a diameter of 32 mm. The certificate includes all the technical details as well as background information about the series. The special uncirculated coins are available in a blister pack with Lower Austria themed design on the sleeve.

The coin will also be available in Austria only in the regular circulation finish and struck in copper. The copper coins have a rilled edge whereas the silver coins have a smooth edge.

Collectors in the United States and Canada may purchase the “Voralberg” coin by calling Euro Collections International toll-free at 1-877-897-7696. The coin may also be ordered on-line at www.downies.com.

Also available for the series are collection cases for each respective coin type, BU or proof. For the BU series there is a frosted plastic box bearing the series logo. The proof case is made from a heavy card stock and includes a small booklet detailing the whole series. 

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