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


Starting in October 2016 and running through July of 2019, every three months the Austrian Mint will release a new coin in its Colorful Creatures series of three-euro glow-in-the-dark collector coins. It is the first series of three-euro coins produced by the Mint.

Each coin in the 12-coin program showcases a different animal from around the world, engraved and colored to produce a 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 inaugural issue–2016’s the Bat–was released on October 5.

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)


A bat, presumably a Greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), is portrayed head-on in the center of the coin. Almost every detail that would be present in a similar photographic composition are present on the coin. The bat is captured mid-flight, coming directly at the viewer. Its wings are open and close to the zenith of an upstroke.

The scene behind it features a stone masonry building, with an arch extending over a cobbled roadway. A tree frames each side of the coin, and the outline of a forest located in the far distance is found between them. The exergue is delineated by the general outline of grass; within it is the German word for bat (FLEDERMAUS) rendered in a modern-looking sans serif font.

The year 2016 is inscribed in the negative space of the forest.

Above the bat are the outlines of two additional bats. At the very top of the coin sits the Moon, with a sample of craters represented.


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 images below (courtesy of the Austrian Mint):

Glow-in-the-Dark elements on the obverse of the 2016 Colorful Creatures: The Bat 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint

The majority of the effect has been applied to the wings of the main bat, though its eyes, ears and some fur are also treated. The two smaller bats glow in their entirety. The Moon also glows in the dark, with no effect applied to the craters.


Gif showing the glow-in-the-dark effects on the Austrian 2016 Colorful Creatures: The Bat 3 Euro Glow-in-the-Dark Coin. Image courtesy Austrian Mint

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. Andexlinger studied at the Fachschule für Metalldesign in Steyr, Austria (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications:

Country:  Austria
Year Of Issue:  2016
Denomination:  3 Euro
Mint Mark:
Mintage:  50,000
Alloy:  Cupro-nickel
Weight:  16.00 grams
Diameter:  34.00 mm
OBV Designer  Helmut Andexlinger
REV Designer  Helmut Andexlinger
Quality:  Special Uncirculated

Watch the video below to see 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.

Austrian Coins Currently Available on eBay



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