The Austrian Mint has launched the latest coin that is part of their ongoing series entitled “Eyes of the Continents,” which introduces five exceptional animals, each one embodying a special characteristic for which it was praised in the myths and tales of previous cultures. The coins’ primary focus is creating eye-to-eye contact through design and highlighting exceptional creatures such as the snake, owl, tiger, elephant, and bear. The fourth design continues with the African elephant. Worshipped since ancient times mostly due to their size, the peoples of Africa, for instance, have had a bond with these creatures that exude a sense of serenity and measured demeanour. It is understandable that unexpected encounters with wild animals could be traumatic events for prehistoric people, and the sudden appearance of their shining eyes in the moonlight could generate a moment of terror. It is no wonder that animals featured prominently in their dreams and imagery, as it was believed wild creatures had supernatural powers. Depictions of prehistoric, and animals familiar to us today, have been found on cave walls and have since been featured in some of the world’s best-known art and crafts, including the earliest examples of coins. For many cultures, elephants are a popular symbol and represent many traits, such as luck and prosperity, but they are also powerful beings that use their mighty strength to remove obstacles and negative forces. They also represent wisdom, long life, memory, and vitality.
Designed by Austrian Mint artisans Anna Rastl and Helmut Andexlinger, the obverse side features an elephant’s head close-up, accentuating its sparkling, sapphire-blue eyes depicted with perfectly faceted crystals by Swarovski. The reverse side is dominated by the image of a mighty bull African elephant in his natural habitat surrounded by a decorative pattern reminiscent of those seen in African fabrics. The text REPUBLIK OSTERREICH is placed around the primary design, with each letter shown in an indent created by the triangular points in the pattern around the edge. The denomination 20 EURO is seen just to the lower-left.
|22.4 g||34 mm||Proof||
Available from the 7th November, each Proof-quality silver coin is encapsulated and presented in a heavy-gauge card case complete with a numbered certificate of authenticity and protective slipcase. For additional information, please click here.