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Austria: Biggest Silver "Coin" on Earth

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Want a 20 kilo silver piece? Now the Austrian Mint has one for you. ;)


500 years ago Maximilian I became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. On that occasion he had a large silver coin (Doppelguldiner) minted that praised him as the new ruler in much of Europe. To some extent that was not precise but pompous - the coin showed the arms of various regions that he claimed to rule but did not actually control. In any case, this piece - issued in 1508 - was the very first coin with the name of our continent on it.




Now that may, by itself, not be a reason to issue a giant medal, designed like that coin, this year. Then again everybody knows :ninja: that Austria and Switzerland are the hosts of the EURO 2008 - the European football cup. To celebrate both the jubilee and the sports event, the Austrian Mint and the Hall Mint Museum (near Innsbruck) issue several medals, with one side designed like the historic coin (except for the "1508-2008" date). The other side, designed by artists of the Austrian Mint, will be unveiled shortly just in time for the Euro 2008 Cup in early June.




There will be five "giant" pieces of about 20 kg each (to be more precise, the weight will be 2008 decagrams) and a diameter of 36 centimeters. Don't ask me how much those will be. For "the rest of us" there will be 2008 pieces with a diameter of "only" 6 cm which is pretty much the size of the original coin. Those medals (Ag 999, 120 g) cost about 100 euro each ...



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Maybe in one of the territories that he thought were his. :ninja: Guess that this horse is "dressed" in a mix of armor (like a warfare horse) and celebration blankets or whatever these were called, and part of that "look, I am the new emperor" outfit was that thing attached to the horse's head ...


By the way, the "small" version of that piece will be sold in a wooden presentation box - and not only that, those boxes are made from wood that is 500 years old. Apparently they found it at Hasegg Castle (where the Hall mint museum is) some time last year. Good thing they won't make millions of those medals and boxes, hehe.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Earlier this week the other side of the medal was "unveiled" at a big ceremony or party in Hall. Well, the "small version" costs €108, plus VAT for EU customers. This is the reverse: http://www.europataler.at/images/stories/rckseite203.jpg


That side depicts people and symbols which "cover" the 500 years: Martin Luther (16c), Antonio Vivaldi (17c), James Watt (18c), Bertha von Suttner (19c). The late 20c/early 21c are represented by the map and the 12 Stars of Europe, reminding of current coins. In the center, the Mint tower of Hasegg Castle.


The inscription is that of the original coin (see first link in this topic) ... and if you look closely, you can detect a "classic" football grid pattern. :ninja:



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