Austrian Mint continues its award-winning gold wildlife series with the Fox

One of our favourite mints worldwide is the Muenz Osterreich, or Austrian Mint. Producers of such superb series as the Niobium range, Klimt, Austria: Piece by Piece, and Prehistoric Life, each coin is gimmick free and struck to the highest standard. Along with the recently completed Klimt series, the other major gold range they offer is titled Wildlife in our Sights. Depicting animals from Austria shown in their natural habitats, the series takes full advantage of the Euro format, and has full coverage custom designs on both faces.

The initial release in the series came back in 2013, this years coin being the fourth of six in the set. The first three coins, pictured lower down, were all exceptional pieces, featuring the Red Deer, the Capercaillie, and the Wild Boar. For 2016, the subject is one of mans closest companions, the Fox.

As before, the reverse face uses a full-coverage design depicting the animal in its natural habitat, completely unencumbered by inscriptions of any sort. It makes a pleasant change to see artwork given such room to shine, especially when the standard is so high. Even on the obverse, text is kept down to just the issuer, the denomination and the date. The bottom-right area of this face still incorporates the swirling pattern that is a signature of the series and the whole face is equally fine, better in our view as these close-ups of the animals are rich with detail.

With design by a pair of the Austrian Mints, indeed amongst the world’s best coin designers, Thomas Pesendorfer and Herbert Wähner, itshould come as no surprise that this series has been nominated for, and won, awards in the past. The artwork looks anatomically correct, perspective perfect, and the environmental detailing exactly as it should be.

Packaged in the little red box the mint, as well as collectors, like so much, it comes with a certificate of authenticity. An elegant wooden collectors box is also available for the whole set for €90.00 and is a good way to display them all. Downsides? Just the price this year, which has risen to €739.00 from the €645.00 that the previous three coins sold for. That’s a rise of almost 15%. Mintage remains at 30,000 so they’re not too difficult to pick up. Another great entrant to what is developing into a memorable six-coin set.

COIN IMAGES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The red fox belongs to the wolf family and is a winner in every respect. It is at home in the most varied habitats – from the snows of Alaska to the deserts of North Africa. Due to its intelligence and adaptability, it is the world’s most geographically extended predator. It has learnt to outmanoeuvre lemmings in the Siberian tundra, steal chickens from farmers, and cross the road safely in urban areas. Foxes also have the ability to play dead in order to attract crows, which they then attack unexpectedly. The saying ‘as cunning as a fox’ therefore contains more than a grain of truth. And you’ll be just as cunning if you pre-order our beautifully finished gold coin before it goes on sale officially in 2016.

PREVIOUS THREE COINS

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CONT…

THE FANTASTICALLY FAMILIAR FOX

With their reputation for cunning, few animals play as prominent a role in popular culture and folklore as the fox. This is partly due to the fact that foxes live in closer proximity to humans than most other wild animals. So widespread is the Red fox that this member of the wolf family is not an endangered species. With a maximum mintage of only 30,000, and containing half an ounce of gold, the beautifully finished fourth coin in our Wildlife in our Sights series is, however, far rarer.

At home in habitats as varied as the edge of the Arctic and the deserts of North Africa, foxes are even a common sight in cities the size of London during the hours of darkness. Foxes have colonised many suburban areas and as settlements have spread, so has the fox. The ability of such a wild animal to live in relative harmony with humans shows the strength of our association with foxes and the affection that many of us have for them. A masterful depiction of this most familiar of animals is shown in its natural habitat on both sides of this Proof quality coin, which is also exquisitely decorated with an ornate design that gives the series its distinctive rustic elegance.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
€100 EURO 0.986 GOLD 16.23 g (16.00g fine) 30.0 mm PROOF  30,000 YES / YES

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THE AUSTRIAN MINT