Obverse. Photo © Monetnik.ru
  • 3 Euro 2023, KM# 3366, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Stony Coral
  • 3 Euro 2023, KM# 3366, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Stony Coral
  • 3 Euro 2023, KM# 3366, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Stony Coral, Colour effect when exposed to ultraviolet light
Description

To celebrate the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the Austria Mint embarked on an undersea adventure showcasing the fascinating and colorful underwater world. With a mintage of 65,000, the series featured 12 innovative 3 euro colored coins, four of which were issued each year over three years. These coins not only captivated with their design but also featured special lighting effects.

The sea creatures depicted on the coins, despite seeming improbable and magical, truly existed. Many lived in the deep seas' perpetual darkness, where sunlight never reached, yet they possessed extraordinary luminous qualities—flashing, sparkling, glowing, and changing color as needed.

Similarly, the coins themselves glowed under ultraviolet light, sparking excitement and scientific curiosity. A dedicated ultraviolet torch allowed collectors to experience the enchanting creatures of Luminous Marine Life in their full, radiant glory.

Design: Kathrin Kuntner, Rebecca Wilding

Obverse

Depicts all 12 of the magical sea creatures in the Luminous Marine Life series in silhouette. Air bubbles up between them and a tail fin disappears beneath the waves to the right. Surrounded by the country name and the denomination.

REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH
3 EURO

Reverse

Depicts a wide band reminiscent of an old-fashioned porthole, that frames an aquatic scene and features a coral reef. Stony corals are depicted in the top left of the scene, sea fans to the right, brain coral in the center and sea anemones in the bottom left, while clownfish are dotted around the reef. When the coin is illuminated with UV light, the coral and sea anemones glow and change colour.

Stony corals build intricate living worlds that support diverse sea life, including the brightly colored clownfish. These reef-building corals secrete calcium carbonate, forming a calcareous skeleton through a symbiosis with zooxanthellae, unicellular microalgae. They reproduce by forming new coral calyxes on old ones or by coral polyps becoming independent.

Some stony coral species can live for centuries, creating vast structures like the Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Maldives. The Great Barrier Reef, begun 600,000 years ago, is the largest structure made by living creatures and supports numerous species. However, coral mortality has increased due to rising surface water temperatures caused by global warming, with significant bleaching events, such as in 1998 due to El Niño.

STEINKORALLE
2024

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 16 g
Diameter 34 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Austrian Mint

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