HomeWorld Coins2018 Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures - The Shark 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin

2018 Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures – The Shark 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin

Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures


The launch of the Austrian Mint 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. Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures is the first series of three-euro coins produced by the Austrian Mint; they are legal tender only in Austria but as collector coins they are not intended for general circulation.

The seventh coin in the Mint’s glow-in-the-dark Colorful Creatures series–2018’s The Shark–will be released June 6. All come in the Austrian Mint’s Special Uncirculated finish – essentially a “first strike”-quality coin that is individually handled and inspected.

Each entry in the 12-coin Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures program showcases a different animal from around the world, engraved and colored to photorealistic effect. No other animal inspires such a mix of fear and fascination as the shark. This is not only due to their sharp teeth, dead eyes and torpedo-like build, which give them the appearance of a cold-blooded killer, but also to the fact that their natural environment is one in which we humans feel particularly vulnerable.
The Austrian Mint’s “Colorful Creatures” Coin Program: The Bat (2016) | The TigerThe CrocodileThe KingfisherThe Wolf (2017) | The ParrotThe Shark – The Owl – The Frog (2018) | The Turtle – The Otter – The Crayfish (2019)

The Coin

Austrian Mint Colorful Creatures SharkThe reverse of the coin predominantly features the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), which is colored in shades of blue and white and treated via the glow-in-the-dark process as seen in the CoinWeek video below. It is swimming at an angle slightly to the left towards the viewer, a variety of corals to either side. Above the shark in the distance is a hammerhead shark; in the mid-ground on the sea bottom is the prow of a sunken ship. The overall scene presents slightly more whimsy than the previous entries in the Colorful Creatures series, and invites the imposition of a narrative.

The date 2018 and the inscription HAI (German for shark) are located at the bottom of the coin.

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.


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:  2018
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:  Uncirculated

Watch the video below to see how the Austrian Mint makes the glow-in-the-dark coins of the Austrian Mint 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.

CoinWeek IQ
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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