World Coins

Nothing to grouse about: Austrian Mint continues Wildlife series

The Austrian Mint on Oct. 28 will issue the third Proof .986 fine gold €100 coin in the “Wildlife in Our Sights” program.

The six-coin series celebrates the diversity of Europe’s native wildlife as well as the sustainable management of their habitats. The 2015 coin depicts the Capercaillie, the largest species of the Grouse family.

The obverse of the 2015 coin was designed and engraved by the mint’s master engraver, Thomas Pesendorfer, and depicts the male Capercaillie, a wild European woodland grouse, in full courting pose, singing out its distinctive and long mating call. Around the bird are pine boughs, pinecones and a tree stump, representative of the natural habitat where it lives.  

The obverse also bears the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich”, the 2015 year of issue and the face value 100 euros.  

The reverse of the coin was designed and engraved by mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger. 

It depicts both male and female Capercaillie sitting on the branch of a pine tree. The male bird is usually double the size of the female. The design is completed with a pinecone, the bark of a coniferous tree, and a few more pine tree trunks in the background.  The rocky crag in the background completes the design. 

The capercaillie lives in coniferous, mixed and deciduous woodland, where it spends the night roosting in trees. 

Their typical habitat is a mature mixed forest with lots of sun.  The mature forest is important as they are active during daylight hours and sleep on horizontal branches during the night. Austria is one of the last countries where the Capercaillie, though rare, still exists in relatively large numbers. 

The Capercaillie is well known for is spectacular mating dance and call, a ritual that begins in spring and that may last into June.  

The “Wildlife in Our Sights” series began in 2013 with the red deer, followed by the wild boar in 2014.

The series will continue in 2016 with the fox, in 2017 wit the alpine ibex and in 2018 with the Mallard

The Wildlife coins each weigh 16 grams, measure 30 millimeters in diameter and have a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces. 

Each coin is encapsulated and comes in a box with a numbered certificate of authenticity.  

A wooden collector case with a rustic design is available for the series. The case is adorned with a minted shield designed and crafted by the Austrian Mint’s in-house engravers.

Collectors in the United States and Canada may purchase the “Capercaillie” coin by contacting either the Austrian Mint’s website, or through these several dealers:

Order from American Precious Metals Exchange online.

Distributor Downies offers the coins through its website.

The coin is also available through Modern Coin Mart’s website

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