World Coins

Austria marks New Year with traditional design

Austria marks the new year with a €5 coin depicting a lion, a motif taken from a medieval book. A silver version, not shown, is also available.

Images courtesy of the Austrian Mint.

The Austrian Mint’s first coins for 2018 takes inspiration from a work created nearly 650 years ago.

To find inspiration for its New Year Coin 2018, the Austrian Mint is using an image from the Middle Ages, the head of a lion, its mischievous grin framed by a flowing mane. This “charming, almost feminine representation of a lion was found on the cover of the oldest book among the millions that make up the impressive collection of the Austrian National Library,” according to the Austrian Mint.

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The book is a transcription and illumination in gold of the four gospels of the Bible, done by Catholic priest Johannes von Troppau, who was commissioned for the work in 1368 by Austrian duke Albert III. The duke’s library became a foundation element in today’s Austrian National Library. 

Two versions of the design are available, and both pieces were released Dec. 5.  

The Special Uncirculated .925 fine silver €5 coin contains a quarter-ounce of silver and weighs 8.41 grams total. It has a mintage limit of 50,000 pieces. 

The Uncirculated copper example has a mintage limit of 200,000 pieces.

American Precious Metals Exchange offers both examples, with the copper coin selling for $14.99 and the silver coin for $24.99. To order, visit the APMEX website.

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