A species of wild goat with impressive horns that can grow up to a metre in length, the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) can be spotted on vertiginous rocky outcrops above the tree line in the Alps. It can also be spotted on the fifth coin in the Austrian Mint’s Wildlife in Our Sights series, which celebrates the diversity of Europe’s native wildlife and the sustainable management of the natural habitats in which it continues to thrive.
The Alpine Ibex 100 euro gold proof coin, designed by Helmut Andexlinger, Herbert Wähner and Kathrin Kuntner, was released on October 18, 2017.
Life Above the Tree Line
Almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century because its blood and horns were thought to possess mythical healing powers, today the Alpine ibex numbers some 45,000.
After a gestation period of five to six months, the Alpine ibex’s young are born in May or June. Immature males and females live together in a herd, but the young bucks form a separate herd as they approach maturity. In the rutting season, adult bucks seek out females and try to win control over the herd by putting on a show of strength. They do this by confronting rival bucks on hind legs and bringing their horns crashing down on those of their opponents. In spring, the bucks become solitary again and spend more and more time alone as they get older.
The obverse of the coin shows an ibex in profile surrounded by alpine primroses and edelweiss. A mountain peak, presumably from the Alps, is present in the background on the right side of the coin. Like the other entries in this series, the lower part of the obverse is decorated with an exquisite design that gives the series its distinctive character.
Clockwise around the top left quadrant of the design is the legend REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH, followed by the date 2017 in a smaller font. A moderately thick solid line underscores the inscription, beginning as part of the lower obverse decoration and ending slightly under the “H” in ÖSTERREICH. The denomination 100 EURO is framed rather prominently by the ibex’s horns.
The coin’s reverse shows an ibex with its young on a steep rock face, as a marmot looks on. The animals stand among the same kinds of flowers (primrose and edelweiss) as seen on the obverse. The rocky texture of a mountainside is featured behind the scene on almost the entire left half of the design, while a neighboring yet distant mountain is seen on the right. A far-off forest is implied by what look like several pine trees drawn to scale.
The edge of the 2017 Alpine Ibex 100 euro gold coin is smooth.
The Austrian Mint’s “Wildlife in Our Sights” Coin Program: The Red Deer (2013) | The Wild Boar (2014) | The Capercaillie (2015) | The Fox (2016) | The Alpine Ibex (2017) | The Mallard (2018)
Austrian Mint lead designer Helmut Andexlinger is one of the world’s leading coin designers. He has created a number of prize-winning coin designs (View Designer’s Profile).
Herbert Wähner is a designer and engraver at the Austrian Mint. Kathrin Kuntner is one of the newest members of the design team, having started in 2016.
All three designers studied at the Fachschule für Metalldesign in Steyr, Austria.
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|OBV Designer||Helmut Andexlinger | Herbert Wähner | Kathrin Kuntner|
|REV Designer||Helmut Andexlinger | Herbert Wähner | Kathrin Kuntner|
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