Austria by Its Children 3: “Province of Lower Austria”

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May 23, 2013 – The Austrian Mint issued on May 17, 2013 the third silver coin in its delightful series “Austria, by its Children.” The new coin features the province of Lower Austria.

This coin series celebrates what Austrian children are excited by, and proud to speak about, when they speak of their home. The coin features a UNESCO world heritage site located in the home province of the child from which the design was selected. The series features all 9 provinces and a tenth coin as the finale, which will celebrate Austria as a nation.

The reverse of the coin was designed by ten-year old Christian Kopf of the village of Ertl, in lower Austria, and was engraved by the Mint’s chief engraver Thomas Pesendorfer. Christian’s clever design depicts the four regions of Austria’s largest province and their respective economic contributors, in a clock-wise order from the upper left: woodland, vineyards, business/industry and orchards. The chief engraver enjoyed working with Christian to translate his design into a three dimensional coin work-of-art. Together they decided that the snow capped mountains depicted in the economic quarter would be engraved with a bit more texture and topped off with fluffy white clouds to highlight the snow there. Also the chain saw in the woodland area was made a bit larger in proportion for the coin engraving.

Melk Abbey. Photo: Walter Hochauer.

The obverse of the coin was designed by Mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger and features: a river ferry sailing past the monastery of Melk, the ancient town gate of Krems and the baroque church at Dürnstein, the village where King Richard the Lionheart was famously held captive in 1193. This side of each coin 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, in this case an area around the Danube, the Wachau, a very famous part of Lower Austria. This commemorative coin is legal tender in Austria.

Lower Austria is perhaps better known to the world as the province in which the Wachau is located. Famous for the picturesque villages with winding cobblestone streets, gently rolling green fields, over which lush vineyards roll, and the many Monasteries and fortresses that stand guard over the Danube river. However, as Christian has captured so well in his coin this province is a major economic contributor to the Austrian economy. It is Austria’s largest province and it surrounds the capital of Vienna. The region has been an economic powerhouse since ancient times. The Celts, Romans and the centuries since have all had successful settlements and industries here. Today the region is well known for its exclusive wines, major apricot crops, and tourism while at the same time most major Austrian industrial contributors as well as research organizations are located here. Largely because of the Danube River which through history has been the key link to the success of Lower Austria and the centuries of growth and diversification.

The silver Lower Austria coin is legal tender and is 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. 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 is also 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.
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.

For more information about the coin please visit the website of The Austrian Mint.

You can get some impression of the beauty of the Wachau in this video clip ‘Wachau – Valley of Golden Magic’.

Lower Austria has its own website if you are interested in learning more about the opportunities which this region offers tourists.