Austria: Proof And Colour Silver Coins Launch New Series Entitled The Beauty Of The Universe

The Austrian Mint launch an exciting new series entitled The Beauty of the Universe with the first coin highlighting the wonder of the Supernova.

by Michael Alexander | Published on May 21, 2024

Over the next five years, the series will present the most spectacular phenomena in the universe in the most spectacular way possible on a coin. From the birth of a star to its dramatic finale and not just full of dynamic and exciting events, the universe is both infinitely diverse and beautiful.

It was in the year 1054 when something unprecedented appeared in the sky, Chinese and Arabic astronomers observed the phenomenon and noted a brightness that increased with remarkable speed. This was the result of something we now know was caused by the massive explosion of a star with a mass roughly ten times that of the sun itself – a phenomenon known as a supernova.

After millions of years, the star in question had run out of hydrogen nuclei ‘fuel’ and, stabilised throughout the duration of its life by the pressure created by the nuclear fusion taking place within it, had collapsed under the effect of its own gravity. This occurred first in the outer layers before rebounding explosively. Since then, the stellar remnant and wind pulsar, known as the Crab Nebula, has been moving away from the former centre of the explosion at a speed of several million kilometres per hour.

Designed by the Austrian Mint’s Chief engraver Helmut Andexlinger, each coin in the series will have a different ingenious shape that illustrates its respective astronomical phenomenon to stunning effect. With a waved edge and a convex reverse, Supernova also has a concave obverse that depicts the Crab Nebula, the remnant of the supernova observed in 1054, which is some 6,500 light years away from Earth and around 11x7 light years in size. ‘NGC 1952’ refers to the catalogue designation of the Crab Nebula. In the centre of the coin, reference is also made to the rapidly rotating Crab Pulsar, a source of cosmic radiation. Above the primary design and along the rim is the text 2024 REPUBLIK OSTERREICH with the coins’ denomination 20 EURO placed along the lower rim. The coin’s revere features a vividly coloured illustration of the Crab Nebula, based on an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The text SUPERNOVA is placed along the upper left rim.

DenominationMetalWeightDiameterQualityMaximum Mintage
20 Euro.925 Silver22.4 g.34 mm.Proof & Colour30,000

Available from the 15th May, each coin is specially encapsulated and presented in a heavy-gauge custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional detail, please visit the e-webshop of the Austrian Mint.

A custom-designed collector case is available as a separate purchase and is crafted in an all-black matte finish both inside and outside, therefore the amazingly shaped and coloured coins stand out in vivid detail, while their certificates can be safely stored in the lid. By removing the lid of the case, put the inlay in place and the case creates a compact space exhibition always ready to view. As the coins can be viewed from both sides, every detail of the astronomical phenomena depicted on each coin is highlighted.

Supernova is the first coin in the series and will be followed by the Einstein Ring in 2025, Cat's Eye Nebula in 2026, Gravitational Wave in 2027 and Protostar in 2028.

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Author: Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander image Michael’s background in both numismatics and banknotes spans more than three decades and whose activities have varied from being a dedicated world coin collector to coin & medal design, marketing, theme concept and production. His additional interests include banknote research and in 1997, he founded the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre to further these interests and activities. The company continues to offer monthly currency bulletins to both online and printed publications which includes information about the latest banknote news and releases from Central Banks and Monetary Authorities around the world. Michael has been a contributor to COIN NEWS magazine based in the UK since 1998 where many of his in-depth interviews, articles and bulletins have been published.

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