Austria launches Anthropocene, the sixteenth annual Niobium coin in its award winning series

The Austrian Mints highly regarded Niobium series enters its sixteenth year with a pretty cool loooking coin called Anthropocene. The Earth has gone through many great geological periods in its 4.5 billion year history and the latest and most controversial one is called the Anthropocene. This literally means the ‘Age of Man’ and defines the period that man has been on this planet, changing it in ways never seen before. Various dates for its commencement have been put forward from 15,000 years ago when organised agriculture started, to as late as 1945 when the atomic bomb was tested.

Following the recent trend (since 2014)  of having two coloured shades, the 2018 issue employs light and dark green hued niobium in the centre pill, with the border in silver as before. A very nice design in our view, and one that fits in well with the last few releases in the series. Packed to the rim with varied design elements on both faces, we can’t imagine admirers of the series being disappointed with the 2018 coin. Mintage remains at 65,000 and the price is the same €76.80 as the 2017 entrant – quite a rise over the last half decade. Available to order now, it will ship in early June and has a two-coin order limit.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The footprint of humanity on the Earth is unfortunately a massive one. So big that experts now agree that humanity’s impact on the planet is so profound that it is time to declare a new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene. Examples of this impact are the radioactive elements dispersed across the planet by nuclear testing, plastic pollution and the soot produced by fossil-fuel power stations. These and other adverse effects are illustrated in exquisite detail on Anthropocene, the 2018 edition of our ever-popular Silver Niobium coins.

Beginning at the end of the Ice Age, some 11,700 years ago, the subdivision of the Quaternary geologic period, during which all human civilisation developed, is known as the Holocene. The partly scientific, partly philosophical concept of the Anthropocene is effectively a continuation of the Holocene under a symbolic new name. Different shades of green are used in the coin’s niobium core to illustrate this concept. Humanity and its huge footprint on the planet dominate either side of the coin’s two-tone green niobium core, while humanity’s adverse effects on planet Earth are shown in the silver outer ring of Anthropocene.

COMPOSITION 0.900 silver
WEIGHT 9.0 grams fine (+ 7.5 g Nb)
FINISH Special Uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS Coloured niobium
MINTAGE 65,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes