Austria wraps up its six-coin Wildlife in Our Sights gold coin series with the ubiquitous Mallard

After six issues, the Austrian Mint has wrapped up its superb Wildlife in our Sights gold coin series with the launch of the Mallard. First appearing in 2013, this circa ½ oz 0.986 gold range has celebrated six animals from the region of Austria – four mammals and two birds. All have been depicted in their natural habitats by some of the finest artists at the Austrian Mint, like Thomas Pesendorfer and Herbert Wähner.

This new Mallard coins follows the path set out by the earlier coins. The reverse face features an uncluttered and full surface depiction of a family of these colourful ducks in a water setting. The complete lack of inscriptions is a fantastic touch. They’re all placed on the obverse face, and despite that, they’re not particularly intrusive there either. It’s hard to overstress the importance of careful placement of text inscriptions, and we’ve seen some real clunkers over the years, but no such problems with this series. The obverse features an image of a mallard, in this case a solitary bird, again with signs of habitat around it. The signature swirling pattern at the bottom of this face is carried over from the other coins. Yet again, both faces of the coin have a superb design, with the animal looking perfectly proportioned and drawn.

Packaging is as you’d expect from the Austrian Mint. The little red box is almost as famous as Chairman Mao’s similarly monikered book, but there is also an elegant wooden collectors box available for the whole set for €90.00 and is a good way to keep them all together. Given both sides of the coins have beautiful designs on them, perhaps a floating frame would be a great alternative – allowing you to see all of the coin instead of just a solitary face.

It’s good to see a drop in price this year. The first three coins debuted at €645.00, but the fourth saw a substantial rise to €739.00. After a small drop of €20 last year, this final coin has fallen another €30 to €689.00. A fine set of coins, there are obvious reasons why it has won awards. Available to order now, it should be shipping from 03 October.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Of the six animals featured in the Wildlife in our Sights series, the mallard is the only one that most of us are likely to see on a daily basis. As it is able to thrive in urban areas, the duck is a common sight in parks lakes, rivers and canals throughout Western Europe. But as the final coin in the series shows with brilliant clarity, the mallard’s ubiquity does not make it any less striking.

Adaptable dabbler

Considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the mallard is a very adaptable species of dabbling duck. With a glossy bottle-green head and a white collar, the breeding male mallard (drake) is unmistakable. The female is predominantly mottled but both birds have distinct iridescent purple-blue feathers edged with white on the back of the wing.

Celebrating the diversity of Europe’s native wildlife and the sustainable management of the natural habitats in which it continues to thrive, Wildlife in our Sights is now drawing to a close. All six of the 100 euro Proof quality coins in the series feature a masterful depiction of one of the continent’s most recognisable wild animals in its natural habitat, while the lower part of each coin is exquisitely decorated with an ornate design that gives the series its distinctive character. A swimming mallard drake features on the obverse of this coin, a mallard family features on its reverse.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION €100 Euro (Austria)
COMPOSITION 0.986 gold
WEIGHT 16.32 grams
DIMENSIONS 30.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 30,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
AUSTRIAN MINT