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HomeAustria 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Wolf 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin

Austria 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Wolf 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin

Austria 2017 Colorful Creatures: The Wolf 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 fifth issue in the series–2017’s The Wolf–was released on November 22.

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


The reverse features two examples of what is presumably the Eurasian wolf, a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) that ranges over Europe, Russia and the Asian steppes. Both are portrayed howling at the full moon, which looms large in the sky behind and between them. The wolf in the foreground is colored in tawny reds (predominantly on its side and haunches), creamy whites (especially on the feet, legs, throat and underbelly) ashy greys and charcoal blacks. Coming in from the right, its forefeet are perched on a rock, elevating the front part of the wolf. The wolf’s companion sits on a larger rock in the mid-ground on the left. Behind each wolf on their respective sides are tree trunks topped with scaly looking leaves. A clearing or path runs between them, from the wolf in the foreground to the small forest of what appear to be pine trees behind them.

The year 2017 is a slightly futuristic font is inscribed on the rock, nestled on top of a patch of grass. Beneath the year and the grass is the ragged outline of a pond; the plain field serves as both water and sky. The word WOLF–inscribed in the same font as the date but larger, as though it were closer to the viewer–is located in the pond.


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

A group of animals is at the center of the obverse; naturally enough, these are the animals featured in the “Colorful Creatures” series. Animals that fly are placed at the top, animals that move about on land are in the middle, and creatures of the sea are on the bottom of the grouping. 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 reverse. 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 image below (courtesy of the Austrian Mint):

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


Engraver Anna Rastl is new to the Mint, working primarily in the medals department.

With the retirement of Thomas Pesendorfer in 2016, Helmut Andexlinger is now the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint. His innovative work with computer technology has resulted in many award-winning coins for the Mint and places him at the forefront of a younger generation of coin designers (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

The video below shows how the Austrian Mint makes the glow-in-the-dark coins of the Colorful Creatures series.

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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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CoinWeek IQ
With CoinWeek IQ, the editors and writers of CoinWeek dig deeper than the usual numismatic article. CoinWeek IQ provides collectors and numismatists with in-depth information, pedigree histories, and market analysis of U.S. coins and currency.

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