The German Federal Republic’s Ministry of Finance and Munze Deutschland have released the fourth coin in their numismatic series entitled “Wonderful World of Insects,” which focuses on the great biodiversity of the many insects we share our varied environments with. The latest coin features the rusty red mason bee, which was named Insect of the Year for 2019 in Germany. The rusty red mason bee is reminiscent of a small bumblebee and is considered a herald of spring as many believe as soon as the furry wild bee is visible, the period of permanent frost is over. It is one of the 700 species of wild bees that live in Central Europe and play an important role within multiple functioning ecosystems, particularly as pollinators of wild and cultivated plants. Due to its nesting behaviour, the rusty mason bee can often be found near human dwellings. In early spring, it prefers cavities in dry stone and clay walls but also in dead wood and loose rock for its breeding nests. These nests have even been found in closed-up roller shutters and unused door locks. The rusty red mason bee also seems to like artificial nesting aids such as bamboo stalks, reeds, or wood. Only one generation can gestate per year at a time, beginning in the spring when pollen-filled nest boxes are created, and larvae develop into adults by August. In this state, they remain in the closed nest until the following spring and then gnaw their way out with their powerful jaws, with male offspring hatching first. Once the females hatch, the males wait to mate, and the cycle begins all over again.
Designed by Claudius Riedmiller from Stuttgart, the obverse side includes the image of the rusty red mason bee shown on a wall surface. The motif of the bee is raised in relief and includes vivid colour. Surrounding the primary design is the inscription ROSTROTE MAUERBIENE (“rusty mason bee”). The reverse side, which is adopted for all coins in the series, is designed by graphic artist Andre Witting of Berlin and features a stylised eagle centred with the issuer BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND placed directly above along the edge. The denomination 5 EURO is just under the issuer. Also incorporated into the design are 12 stars below the eagle, which represent the European Union, and are arranged along the lower edge. The mintmark D is seen between the second and third star, representing the Mint of Munich and the year of issue 2023 is seen between the ninth and 10th star. Incused inscription on the edge of the coin reads WONDERWELT INSECTEN (“Wonderful World of Insects”).
|5 euro||Cupro-nickel||9.68 g||27.2 mm||Prooflike with applied colour||100,000|
Available from the 7th September, the coins can be ordered before their official release. The remaining five coins will be released, with one more in 2023 and the remaining four in 2024, comprising nine coins in total. For more information, please click here.
The schedule is as follows:
Banded Demoiselle (9th November 2023)
Green Hayhorse (1st Quarter 2024)
Hoverfly (2nd Quarter 2024)
Stag Beetle (3rd Quarter 2024)
Steinhummel (4th Quarter 2024)
A high-quality souvenir album is available as a separate purchase and is an ideal way to store each of the five-euro-coloured coins from the “Wonderful World of Insects” series. It offers space for all the coins and includes an informative text narrative in which all further information and interesting facts about the insects in the series can be found with their selected motifs and profiles. The nine encapsulated coins in the series can be easily inserted in and out of the album. For additional information, please click here.