By the Austrian Mint ……
Australia – The Serpent Creator
Available January 20, 2021
Like all creation myths, that of the Aboriginal Australians brings order, clarity, and meaning to a chaotic, dark, and mysterious world. The wonder of natural phenomena gives rise to questions that demand an explanation: a legend explaining their origin. For Aboriginal Australians, the world is explained through the ‘Dreamtime’, an epoch during which the Earth, living creatures, and plants obtained their physical appearance.
One of the heroes of this mythical time is the Rainbow Serpent. The human eye cannot see the serpent’s real shape. Like a rainbow, it connects the sky and the earth, the physical and the metaphysical worlds. The Rainbow Serpent is fundamental to the creation of the world. In almost all regions of Australia, it is seen as the creator, which is dreamed of as a female earth spirit that creates mountains, valleys, and life’s most precious and vital resource, water, in the form of rivers, rain, and waterholes. The Rainbow Serpent is also the protector of the last of those.
The Rainbow Serpent is a hermaphroditic creature that is able to reproduce itself. As it can shed its skin, it also stands for recreation and creative development, and among the mythical creatures of Australia, it is the creative one. Ideas spring from wherever the Rainbow Serpent slithers, flicks its tongue, or fixes its sparkling orange eyes.
The obverse of this coin from the Austrian Mint features an illustration of a snake slithering out of some foliage. This is bordered by a dotted pattern reminiscent of Aboriginal Australian dot painting. The coin’s reverse is dominated by a large stylized snakehead. The snake’s eye is made from an orange-colored drop-shaped stone of refined and polished Swarovski® crystal, from which a nuanced light is refracted.
Minted to a maximum of 30,000 pieces in Proof quality only, each superb 20 euro silver coin (925 Ag, 2/3 ounce) comes in an attractive case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
Series: The Eyes of the World
All five coins in this new series are inspirational because each of the animals portrayed on them embodies an exceptional quality. Each animal possesses a special characteristic for which it was praised in the myths of previous cultures. The coin series not only speaks about these amazing creatures and how they have always inhabited and enlivened the human imagination but also manages to create eye-to-eye contact with the animals.
The eyes of the five animals featured in the series are resplendent on the reverse of the five different coins, each in its own shade of sublime Swarovski crystal, enhancing their already mythical quality.
A collector box is also available from the Austrian Mint for the complete series.
Proof Set: The First Vienna Mint Master
Also on January 20, the official Euro coin set 2021 appears in “Proof” quality with a mintage of 10,000 pieces. The coins have values ranging from 1 cent to 2 euros. This complete euro coin set comprises each of the Proof quality euro and cent coins in circulation. Proof-quality coins are the fruit of the most advanced minting know-how, technology, and craftsmanship. Only after 22 high-precision procedures is the die used to strike the first coin, which is then subjected to the most rigorous technical demands. The resulting polished and frosted surfaces of the coin create an artistic interplay that makes for a unique numismatic experience. Native flowers, iconic buildings, and illustrious Austrians grace each of the eight coins.
The cover of the Proof Set 2021 is dedicated to Shlom, the first Vienna mint master. Not a lot is known about Shlom. We do not know his date of birth, nor where he came from, but we do know that he was appointed the first master of the Vienna Mint by Duke Leopold V of Austria in 1194. Mint master Shlom was also the first Jew whose settlement in Vienna was officially documented.