April 26, 2012 – The Austrian Mint has issued on April 25, 2012 the first of a new 10 coin series “Austria, by its Children.” The coin series celebrates Austria through its children, what children are proud of and speak about when they speak of their home. The Austrian Mint invited the junior citizens of the country to draw their home province. Over the next five years the winning design for each province will be immortalized on the reverse of each of the 10 euro silver coins celebrating the nine provinces of Austria, while the final tenth coin will celebrate the country of Austria as a whole.
The other side of each coin will feature a UNESCO world heritage site located in the respective province. The first coin of the series honors the federal province of Styria, located in the center of Austria.
Viktoria with the oversize coin motif. Copyright: Austrian Mint AG.
The reverse of the first of the 2 coins to be issued this year was designed by 10 years old Ms. Viktoria Reicht. Her design was anonymously selected from the thousands submitted through a competition in which all children aged 9 and 10 were invited to submit a design about their home province of Styria.
Austria / 10 Euro / .925 Silver / 32.00 mm / 17.30 g / Design: Thomas Pesendorfer / Contest winner: Viktoria Reicht / Mintage: 30,000 (Proof), 40,000 (Special Uncirculated).
Viktoria’s delightful design for the reverse features first and foremost the mountains of her home and the “green” heart in the center of it all. Of course, the many forests, trees, apples and the fields of sunflowers that she associates with Styria are prominent in her design as well. The design is completed with a couple of pumpkins which Styria is well known for and from which the famous pumpkin seed oil is produced. Finally, the fresh streams that run throughout the region also “run” along the bottom edge of her design. Viktoria became somewhat of a celebrity in her hometown of Kirchbach and province upon winning this competition.
The Mint’s Chief Engraver Thomas Pesendorfer carefully engraved Viktoria’s reverse design for the coin, staying true to her design and enhancing it with the fine 3 dimensional details that Austrian’s coins are so well known for. Some of the elements for which Viktoria originally used color to highlight have been carefully engraved to highlight their prominence. For example, the heart shape in which the word “Steiermark” or Styria is located was a green color to represent Styria, the green heart of Austria.
Palace of Eggenberg. Photo: Robodoc / Wikipedia.
The obverse of the Styria coin features the old center of the city of Graz, the capital of the province of Styria. Near the top of the design one notes the famous clock tower. Progressing to the front of the design the coin captures: the town hall (the provincial building of Styria), the baroque cathedral, and in right foreground is the Palace of Eggenberg. The old core of the city is lovingly maintained by its citizens and is has been honored as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Also located on this obverse side of each coin is the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich” Republic of Austria, the year of issue 2012 and the face value of 10 euros. This commemorative coin is legal tender in Austria.
Only in Austria the coin will be available in copper (uncirculated quality), too.
The Styria coin will be available in two finishes, Proof and 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 special uncirculated are available in the blister pack with a definite Styrian 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.
We reported on the competitions for the first two coin of this new series here and here.
A similar contest took place in Finland where students at a secondary school of visual arts made design propositions for “The Children and creativity collector coin”.
You will find the coin and further information on the series and other products of the Austrian Mint on its website.