Collectible Niobium Coins from The Austrian Mint

by blackspanielgallery

Niobium coins are highly collectible. The two series considered here are both from the Austrian Mint, and both bimetallic niobium and silver coins.

The Austrian Mint has a beautiful set of niobium and silver bimetallic coins. These are colorful commemorative coins. A second set from Austria is the Architecture Series of coins for Luxembourg.

The Austrian Mint, or Munze Osterreich, is one of the fine mints of the world. One innovative coin series from Austria is the Austrian niobium coin series. I consider the Austrian Mint the leader in niobium and silver coins

The niobium coins are bimetallic, having a 0.900 silver annulus surrounding a niobium inner disk. The inner disk is colorized, but not in using the normal techniques of so many other mints. The inner disk is anodized, which gives it a rich appearance. Other mints colorize with enamel.

One other feature is the coins have related images, one on each side of the coin. Most coins have an image of a person on the obverse, but not these. Instead there are two images unique to the year and consistent with the title of the coin, so the coins are changed on both sides annually.

The Specifications of the Niobium Coins from Austria

Austrian 25 Euro Niobium Coin

These are commemorative coins.  They have a denomination of twenty-five euros.  Fine weight is nine grams, and total weight is sixteen and a half grams.  The diameter of each coin is thirty-four millimeters. 


The mintage of each Austrian niobium coin is sixty-five thousand.


The coins have low mintages, and the 2017 coin sold out in less than one month.  This indicates how collectible they are. 


Unfortunately, these coins are not proof coins.


One major change is that one color was used to anodize the coins annually, changing each year.  Then, starting in 2014 the coins received two colors, and this is applied to both sides.  One color is for highlights, the other is for he background.

The Niobium Coins of Austria

A List of Austrian Niobium Coins

The color is changes annually.  Repeated colors are different shades.


 2003: 700 Years of Hall in Tyrol, blue


2004: The 150 Anniversary of the Semmering Railway, green


2005 Issue: Fifty Years of Television, purple


2006: European Satellite Navigation antique gold


2007: Austrian Aviation, green


2008: Fascination Light, pale green


2009: International Year of Astronomy, gold


2010: Renewable Energy, blue


2011: Robotic (robotics), rose


2012: Bionik, rose


2013: Tunnel Construction, blue


Beginning with the issues of 2014, the niobium coins of Austria are in multiple colors. 


2014:  evolution, green with blue


2015:  Cosmology, blue with gold


2016:  Time, purple with blue


2017:  Microcosm, green with red


2018:  Anthropocene, dark green and blue with light green


2019:  Artificial Intelligence, light blue with dard blue


2020:  Big Idea:  Green with purple


2021:  Smart Mobility: Light green with dark green


The Luxembourg Niobium Coin

A Coin of the Austrian

Luxembourg niobium and silver bimetallic coins were first released for the year 2009.  These are similar to the Austrian coins, except the image on the obverse does not change. The reverse image relates to a single theme, architecture, and castle images are in frequent use. 


These are beautiful depictions of castles, which should appeal to many.  Castles are such interesting glimpses into history.

Specifications of Luxembourg Niobium Coin

Coins of Luxembourg

The niobium coins of Luxembourg are minted at the Austrian Mint with the same high standards as the Austrian coins.  It is not unusual for smaller countries to contract out their minting needs.  Luxembourg indeed has found a quality partner.


The denomination used is five euros.  The diameter of each coin is thirty-four millimeters.  These coins are bimetallic with an inner disk of anodized niobium, and an outer ring of silver. 


The mintage for these coins is three thousand pieces annually.  This is incredibly low when compared to the Austrian niobium coins.


The Niobium Coins of Luxembourg

A List of Luxembourg Niobium Coins

Different color shades distinguish those with like colors.


2009:  Castle of Vanden, green


2010:  Castle of Esch – Sur – Sure, blue


2011:  Le Chateau de Mersch, gold


2012:  Castle Bourscheid, dark purple


2013:  Beauford, green


2014:  Castle Larochette, gold


2015:  Castle of Brandenbourg, blue


2016:  Castle of Clervaux, purple


2017:  Castle of Useldange, blue


Bimetallic Coins

Using Compatible Metals

When annealing two metals together, one inside the other, it is necessary to consider the thermal expansions of the metals.  If the inner metal expands too much compared to the outer metal a distortion at or near the boundary is a possibility.  If the outer piece expands too fast compared to the inner part of the coin, there will be a possibility of the coin coming apart.  Similar problems occur when metals contract.  It is not enough to consider only temperatures near room temperature, the coin must survive shipping in an aircraft where it may be subjected to a severe temperature drop.

Does Any Other Mint Make Bimetallic Niobium Coins?

Does Any Other Country Issue Niobium Coins

Well, small countries use collective commemorative coins as a source of revenue.  Some have coins minted in niobium.  And, at least one small island nation has a bimetallic niobium coin for 2017.


The Royal Canadian Mint has issues two, four-coin series of niobium and silver coins.  These are highly sought after by collectors, especially the first series called The Full Moon series.  However, these series are now complete.


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Updated: 03/01/2021, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 07/22/2017

Austria has had their series going for years, then there were the Luxembourg coins. While the Austrian Mint makes both, color changes annually have been a part of the biobium coins since the coins were a new concept. Canada also varied colors. I have no idea how the decision is made.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/22/2017

blackspanielgallery, Do you know the decision-making process behind the color decisions for the Austrian Mint's coins? Is that decision made by or for Luxembourg?

blackspanielgallery on 07/01/2017

They are quite different from the norm. The Austrians hav a great technique.

MBC on 07/01/2017

These are super cool and beautiful! Thanks for this introduction.

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