The Austrian Mint has released (10th March) their latest Easter coins; an annual product first launched in 2002 with the introduction of the euro. This year’s theme features one of Easter’s more enduring symbols of the holiday, the baby chick and egg.
Over the centuries, Christians have also decorated eggs, some intricately with detailed painted and artistic designs or simply dyed various colours. For the chick itself, the egg is the final step on its journey to a miraculous world, unaware that it is part of that miracle itself.
The chick is called a “Wuiserl” or “Singerl” in Austria and is a young animal of the chicken species in ornithology. With its “egg tooth” on the front of its beak, when it’s time to hatch, the chick diligently pecks on the shell. It is a strenuous feat and takes time as it has to take pauses again and again. A tiny hole is created in the egg’s membrane, and it gradually becomes larger. The chick presses with its whole body against the cracked shell, again and again, until it finally breaks apart. The chick is born exhausted and breathing heavily. It stretches and stretches. Its tiny feathers, which first appear as matted and wet, later dry and create the yellow fuzz which we all associate with a baby chick.
The nine-sided coins are struck in both sterling silver and pure copper, which are designed by Helmut Andexlinger and Anna Rastl. The obverse side includes a stylised image of a hatchling, perhaps looking around in amazement. With big eyes, it looks at the development and blossoming of nature in spring. The chick is still in its shell below, which is decorated for Easter. It is surrounded by other wonders of life: Spring flowers rising from the ground and a butterfly floating around in front of his eyes.
The reverse side depicts representations of the nine national coats of arms which comprise the Austrian Republic (REPUBLIK OSTERREICH) and are arranged in a circular layout with the denomination of 5 EURO centred.
Each Brilliant Uncirculated silver coin is presented in a colourful folder with a blister-pack feature and text in German and English. The copper Uncirculated coins are available for their face value at commercial banks and post offices. For additional information about these coins and others offered by the Austrian Mint, please visit their website.