Following the exploration of the cosmos in 2015, the latest edition in the Austrian Mint’s innovative and ingenious two-tone Silver Niobium series embarks on a technological journey in the opposite direction – to the microcosmos. For the past decade and a half these coins have been employing the combination of silver and niobium to explore fittingly fascinating themes ̶ the journey of scientific discovery featured on Microcosm is no exception.
Under the microscope
The means of transport for this journey is a rather unexpected one ̶ the butterfly. A shining example is found in the raspberry-red and grass-green niobium centre of the coin’s obverse. But the journey of discovery really begins on the coin’s reverse, where a microscopic view of a butterfly wing is shown at the top of the centre. Moving clockwise we go even deeper with the help of an electron microscope. But that is not the end of the expedition: the bottom half of the coin shows a cell, its structure and even its core. What makes our Silver Niobium coins so special is the fact that their niobium tones arise without the application of colour, purely through light refraction on an extremely thin, transparent oxide layer. Microcosm, like all the other coins in the series, truly glistens with knowledge.