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Not only one of the key watchwords of the 21st century, sustainability is also one of its biggest challenges. In recognition of this, the 2010 edition of the Austrian Mint’s 25 euro Silver Niobium series features renewable energy and the vital role it plays in a world of dwindling resources.
Niobium was chosen for the core due to its workability as a coinage metal and its low reactivity (which prevents its corroding where it comes in contact with the silver ring). Niobium’s larger application is in the aerospace industry, making it a thematic fit with the series, whose designs have focused on achievements in science and engineering.
Each coin contains 9 g of 900 Fine Silver in its outer ring and 6.5 g of 998 pure niobium. Designed by Mag. Helmut Andexlinger, each piece is encapsulated, boxed and comes complete with a numbered certificate guaranteeing its authenticity.
Inspired by the living, breathing plant process, Helmut Andexlinger has placed a tree representing all our planet’s vegetation in the shining blue niobium core of the coin’s obverse. The wind blows the tree’s leaves to the ground in a spiral reflecting the life-giving cycle of the four elements – earth, wind, fire and water. A tree representing all vegetation on Earth is featured in the niobium center of the obverse.
REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH • 25 EURO •
All four elements (earth, wind, fire and water) are also represented in ingenious detail on the coin’s reverse by the contemporary modes of renewable energy used to harness them. Water drives one type of turbine, wind another, the suns rays are captured by solar panels and geothermal heat sources in the earth are recovered in the form of steam. Text "Renewable Energy" below.