Obverse. Photo © Monetnik.ru
  • 3 Euro 2023, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Deep-sea Anglerfish
  • 3 Euro 2023, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Deep-sea Anglerfish
  • 3 Euro 2023, Austria, Luminous Marine Life, Deep-sea Anglerfish, Colour effect when exposed to ultraviolet light

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


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.



Depicts a wide band reminiscent of an old-fashioned porthole decorated with a shell and a starfish. Within the porthole the coin’s surface is black, but when illuminated with ultraviolet light a glowing red and green deep-sea anglerfish appears, with its open mouth full of long pointed teeth and a glowing ‘fishing rod’ on its forehead for catching small fish.

As dark and mysterious as the deep blue sea, a black coin resembling the deep-sea anglerfish is a rare find. These bizarre-looking creatures, with their spherical bodies, large heads, and mouths packed with sharp teeth, inhabit depths below 300 meters in oceans worldwide. Female deep-sea anglerfish, which can be up to 1.2 meters long, are much larger than males, who only grow to a few centimeters. The females are equipped with a 'fishing rod' (illicium) and a luminescent 'lure' (esca) to attract prey. The esca contains complex structures filled with luminescent bacteria, while a light-producing barbel on the hyoid bone uses photogenic granules to emit light, a unique feature in nature.

Ceratioidei, known as deep-sea or pelagic anglerfishes, belong to one of the four suborders in the order Lophiiformes. Found in tropical and temperate seas, these anglerfishes exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism, where the tiny males latch onto larger females with their sharp teeth, sometimes merging with them in a process called parabiosis. Bioluminescence is a common trait, used by these anglerfishes to attract prey in the dark ocean depths.



3 Euro

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

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