By CoinWeek ….
In conjunction with Dorotheum Jewellers in Vienna, the Austrian Mint has created a line of jewelry based on medallic art from its historical medal collection.
And while the Mint currently has made its collection of bracelets, earrings and necklaces available only in Austria and Germany, the products are worth noting because they serve as yet another example of the innovative work being done by mints around the world to reach out to a mainstream (not-necessarily numismatic) consumer base while also introducing the general public to their own artistic and numismatic heritage.
It also might give coin collectors a last-minute idea or two for Mother’s Day this Sunday (May 13).
The name of the new Austrian Mint jewelry line is “Kissed Awake” (Wachgeküsst in German), and it is based on the two primary motifs that can be found throughout the collection: the sun and the heart. The sun motif comes from a medal created by the Austrian Mint during the Baroque Era, which began in Rome in the first part of the 1600s and spread to Austria by about 1650. The heart motif comes from a medal struck around 1550, which is about when the modern style of medal developed in Italy in the 14th century had become popular in Austria.
Products from the line come in gold and silver. A necklace, 42 to 45 mm in length and made of either .585 fine gold or .925 fine sterling silver, can stand on its own or play host to the different pendants also available from the Mint. These include gold sun and heart pendants, as well as a success pendant based on an early 19th-century medal featuring a heraldic scene with lion and griffin, a good luck pendant based on an early 18th-century design featuring a cornucopia, angels and flowers, a birth pendant that is an adaptation of a 1720 medal featuring an infant walking while watched over by angels, and a pendant bearing a cross and adorned with angels to either side and flowers. Mint artist and engraver Herbert Wähner is responsible for all of the artwork in the Kissed Awake jewelry line.
A gold bracelet features a disc with one of the aforementioned motifs, and a silver bracelet is available as a home for the various silver charms offered as part of the collection. Once again, you can choose from among the sun, hearts, luck, success, birth and cross designs. The charms consist of .925 sterling silver and are plated in Rhodium.
In addition, silver necklaces and silver pendants based on the motifs mentioned above are available that feature zirconia hearts and rings.
Gold and silver earrings are offered as well, in either the sun or heart motif. The gold earrings are 55 mm long while the silver earrings–which also feature rings with inset zirconia gemstones–are 40 mm long.
Silver medals made using the same motifs plus additional designs are also part of the collection. A baptism medal uses an 18th-century motif; a silver communion medal features a 17th-century design with the “IHS” christogram in center (the first three letters of “Jesus” in Greek); a confirmation medal uses a 1711 medal design, and a silver wedding medal utilizes the flowers and cornucopia of a 1712 medal from the Mint’s archives. The back of each medal has space for a personalized engraving.
All of the jewelry and medals mentioned above come in handsome white boxes with the Austrian Mint’s logo in gold lettering.
About Dorotheum Jewellers
A major world auction house for art and antiques, the “Dorotheum” was founded in 1707 by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I (ruled 1705-11) as the Displacement and Inquiry Office for Vienna. In 1787 it moved into a former convent known as the Dorotheerkirche, which has formed the basis of the company’s name ever since. The Palais Dorotheum in which it is now headquartered was built on top of the old convent in 1901. Dorotheum Jewellers is one aspect of the company’s business, which has been privately owned since 2001.
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