Obverse, Austria 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Tiger 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint


The Austrian Mint launched the Colorful Creatures series of three-euro glow-in-the-dark collector coins in October 2016 and will release a new coin about every three months until July of 2019. Colorful Creatures is the first series of three-euro coins produced by the Mint; they are legal tender only in Austria but as collector coins they are not intended for general circulation.

Each entry in the 12-coin program showcases a different animal from around the world, engraved and colored to photorealistic effect. All come in the Austrian Mint’s Special Uncirculated finish – essentially a “first strike”-quality coin that is individually handled and inspected.

The second issue in the series–2017’s The Tiger–will be released on February 22.

The Austrian Mint’s “Colorful Creatures” Coin Program: The Bat (2016) | The Tiger, Crocodile, Kingfisher and Wolf (2017) | Parrot, Shark, Owl and Frog (2018) | Turtle, Otter and Crayfish (2019)


Reverse, Austria 2016 Colorful Creatures: The Bat 3 EuroGlow-in-the-Dark Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint

The obverse features a youthful yet mature tiger (Panthera tigris) sitting slightly to the right of center, its gaze focused on something beyond the viewer. The variegated foliage includes palms, ferns, vines, grasses and more – all of it representative of a tropical ecosystem. Another apex predator, a large boa, wraps itself around a low-hanging branch to the left of the tiger. The snake’s head is pointed towards the powerful feline, conveying a demeanor that is both curious and cautious.

A section of the coin’s field under the boa and to the left of the seated tiger is delineated by the negative outline of jungle grass. In this empty space is the word TIGER. On the apparently bare ground beneath the tiger’s feet is the year 2017. Both inscriptions are rendered in a clean, almost austere modern-looking font.

The tiger’s iconic pelt has been colored in the appropriate pattern of orange and white with black stripes.


A group of animals is at the center of the reverse; naturally enough, these are the animals featured in the “Colorful Creatures” series. Starting with the bat and moving clockwise, we get an owl, a pine or fir tree, a crescent moon, a howling wolf, an African savannah tree, an otter, a crayfish, a turtle, a shark, a tiger and a parrot. A kingfisher, a frog and a crocodile form an inner ring, and a small patch of wild grass is at the very heart of the design. Flowers and stars are intermingled among the land animals, while dots and circles representing bubbles are dispersed among the sea creatures.

None are rendered in great detail. Instead, a sort of pointillistic effect is used.

The inscription REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH wraps around the left side of the rim, while a large numeral “3” and the word EURO denote the denomination of the coin along the bottom. The sans serif font appears to be a thicker version of that found on the obverse. Between the two phrases is a paw print.

Glow-in-the-Dark Elements:

The specific glow-in-the-dark elements of the coin are demonstrated in the images below (courtesy of the Austrian Mint):

Glow-in-the-dark elements, Austria 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Tiger 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint

The application of glow-in-the-dark material is primarily on the black stripes of the tiger’s coat, but the general outline of the animal’s body and the salient details of its face (especially the nose and the whites of its eyes) have also been treated.

Animation of glow-in-the-dark elements on the obverse of the 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Tiger 3 Euro Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint

Designer(s):  Engraver Anna Rastl is new to the Mint, working primarily in the medals department. Helmut Andexlinger is at the forefront of a younger generation of coin designers. His innovative work with computer technology has resulted in many award-winning coins for the Mint (View Designer’s Profile). Both artists studied at the Fachschule für Metalldesign in Steyr, Austria.

Coin Specifications:

Country:  Austria
Year Of Issue:  2017
Denomination:  3 Euro
Mint Mark:
Mintage:  50,000
Alloy:  Cupro-nickel
Weight:  16.00 grams
Diameter:  34.00 mm
OBV Designer  Anna Rastl
REV Designer  Helmut Andexlinger
Quality:  Special Uncirculated

Keep up with all the latest coin releases from the world mints by clicking on CoinWeek’s World Coin Profiles Page.

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