The Austria by Its Children: Piece by Piece 10 Euro commemorative coin series kicked off in early 2012 with the release of the first issue in a 10-coin program. Silver and copper 10-euro coins honoring the Austrian province of Styria were released on April 25, 2012, launching a program that stretched into 2016 and paid tribute to each of the nine federal states in Austria as well as the entire nation. 10-year-old Viktoria Reicht designed the reverse of the coin, which commemorates a province that sits in the southeastern area of Austria and is home to more than 1.2 million people.
The region’s name (Steiermark in German) traces its roots to the city of Steyr, which served as the seat of the ninth-century Otakar dynasty. Locals still refer to the region as Steiermark, but the province is usually referred to as “Styria,” a Latin-based derivation of the original name, by English speakers. The capital city of Graz serves as Styria’s hub, fielding six universities, including Graz University of Technology, where electrical engineering pioneer Nikola Tesla studied in 1875. The region boasts a diverse business sector, including growing green technology and clean technology industries.
The climate is relatively warm compared to other Central European countries, largely due to Styria’s location southeast of the Alps, which protects the province from colder weather that would otherwise advance from the northwest. Styria is largely influenced by the balmy Mediterranean weather patterns, thus offering abundant sunshine and warmth to the region throughout much of the year.
Featured on the obverse of the coin is the city of Graz, which is a World Heritage site as designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The design by Austrian Mint Chief Engraver Thomas Pesendorfer highlights Graz’s historical buildings, including the city’s famous clock tower in the background, the city’s stately Town Hall in the center of the obverse, Graz’s Baroque-era cathedral, and Eggenberg Palace in the lower-right of the coin.
REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH is inscribed along the upper right rim of the coin from the 11 o’clock to three o’clock positions on the coin; GRAZ is written across the top of the skyline. Toward the bottom of the obverse, the coin’s date of issue, 2012, is seen below a house in the lower-left corner of the coin, while the coin’s denomination, 10 EURO, superimposes a tree in two lines of text.
A monogram of Thomas Pesendorfer’s initials is located in the tree below the coin’s face value and near the bottom rim.
The reverse of the Styria 10-euro copper and silver coins provided ample canvas space for 10-year-old Viktoria to create a design depicting the scenic province she calls home. Alpine mountains anchor the design in the background while forests, trees, sunflower fields, and apples dominate the foreground. A green heart within which “Steiermark” is inscribed in cursive font symbolizes the natural beauty of the region and also represents the province as the “green heart” of Austria.
Two pumpkins, representing a crop for which the region is known, are depicted just under the green heart. To the right of the autumnal gourds is a stream with three whimsically depicted fish. In the top-left area of the reverse flies a majestic bird, symbolic of the region’s abundant avian wildlife.
Designer(s): Austrian Mint designer Thomas Pesendorfer’s coin designs continue to capture the spirit and culture of Austria. To learn more about him: View Designer’s Profile.
|Year Of Issue:||2012|
|Mintage:||Silver: 40,000 (Special Unc.), 30,000 (Proof); Copper: 130,000 (Unc.)|
|Alloy:||.925 Silver; .999 Copper|
|Weight:||Silver: 17.3 g; Copper: 15 g|
|Edge:||Silver: Smooth; Copper: Rilled|
|OBV Designer||Thomas Pesendorfer|
|REV Designer||Viktoria Reicht / Thomas Pesendorfer|
|Quality:||Silver: Special Uncirculated, Proof; Copper: Uncirculated|
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