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20 Years of Silver Niobium Coins From the Austrian Mint

20 Years of Silver Niobium Coins From the Austrian Mint
Image: Austrian Mint.

By Austrian Mint ……
Twenty years ago, through the combination of silver and niobium, the Austrian Mint created an internationally recognized innovation in which wonderful colors arise on niobium through light refraction on a very thin, transparent oxide layer. The unique appearance and beauty of these Silver Niobium coins is a major factor in their success. Another is that their two-tone niobium core and silver outer ring are the ideal environment in which to explore fittingly fascinating and contemporary themes.

The beauty of niobium is that colors do not need to be applied to it as they are created during the oxidation process. By means of ‘anodized oxidation’, a very thin oxide layer is produced on the coin surface and subsequent light refraction enables different colors to arise.

With each Silver Niobium coin being completely different from the last, both in terms of its color and subject matter, it is little wonder that the Mint has won numerous international award and are extremely popular as gifts and with coin collectors. So, it is hardly surprising that many of them are sold out and can only be found for sale in the secondary coin market, although often at a considerable premium. As of this writing, the last three editions are still in stock, however. They are: Big Data (2020), Coin of the Year Award Best Bi-Metal coin; Smart Mobility (2021), Coin of the Year Award Best Bi-Metal coin; and Extraterrestrial Life (2022).

2023 “Global Warming” Silver Niobium Coins

First the bad news: it’s getting hotter.

The good news? By acting in an environmentally friendly way, each and every one of us can play a role in limiting the temperature increase. Global Heating, the 2024 edition of the Austrian Mint’s bestselling Silver Niobium coin, is a timely reminder that we need to act before it is too late.

The temperature increase caused by humans since 1850 has already exceeded the 1°C mark. Not that this is a new insight. Back in 2015, the Paris Agreement (Wikipedia link) set the long-term goal of limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C and this was reaffirmed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2021. But the current measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions do not go far enough for that goal to be achieved. It is now feared that a temperature increase of more than 3°C could occur by 2100, which would have catastrophic consequences for both humans and the natural world.

If, by 2030, global CO2 emissions could be reduced by 45 percent, we would be well on the way to preventing that increase. But time is running out and we are already starting to see the disastrous effects of global heating. Extreme weather events, melting glaciers, and changes in climate patterns are becoming increasingly common. Reducing energy consumption and the sustainable use of natural resources are important steps in combating such developments. Every ton of greenhouse gases that we do not produce could help avert catastrophe.

Depicted inside the blue and gold niobium core of the coin’s obverse, a thermometer forms part of a clock that symbolizes that time is running out. To its left is a globe on which it says +1.5°C. A globe also features in the center of the coin’s reverse, which deals with the economic, ecological, and social aspects of sustainability. To the right are the silhouettes of two human faces; in front of them, a sea turtle is seen swimming. Due to environmental pollution and global warming, this species is threatened with extinction.

This new two-tone coin is minted to a maximum of 65,000 pieces in Special Uncirculated quality only and each coin contains nine grams of .900 fine silver in its outer ring and 6.5 grams of 99.8% pure niobium. Each piece is encapsulated and boxed and comes with a numbered certificate guaranteeing its authenticity.

Austrian Mint
Austrian Minthttps://www.muenzeoesterreich.at/eng
Internationally renowned for its know-how in precious metal processing and coin production, the Austrian Mint is a global player in the international minting industry and ranks among the world’s leading mints. With more than 800 years of coin-making experience, since 1988 the Austrian Mint has operated as a private company and is the sole manufacturer of coinage to the Austrian people.

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