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.