This series introduces five exceptional animals, each one embodying a special characteristic for which it was praised in the myths and tales of previous cultures. The coins manage to create intimate eye-to-eye contact with wonderful creatures such as the snake, owl, tiger, elephant and bear.
The eyes of the five animals featured in the series are resplendent on the reverse of the five different coins, each in its own shade of sublime Swarovski® crystal.
Unexpected encounters with wild animals could be traumatic events for prehistoric people and the sudden appearance of shining animal eyes in the dark a moment of terror. It is no wonder that animals featured prominently in their dreams or they thought that wild creatures had supernatural powers.
They imagined that animals had a special relationship with the gods and some even thought that animals were gods themselves. Prehistoric people admired and envied wild animals, studied their characteristics and hoped that they had skills and qualities that could be passed on to humans.
2021: Australia – The Serpent Creator
2021: Europe – The Wisdom of the Owl
2022: Asia – The Power of the Tiger
2022: Africa – The Serenity of the Elephant
2023: Americas – The Healing Power of the Bear
For the indigenous people of North America, a bear was not just a bear and humans merely one type of being among other beings. The bear also possessed a soul and was considered a supernatural being that was viewed with a mixture of awe and fear. The calmness, self-assurance and imperturbability expressed in the bear’s expression on the Healing Power of the Bear are a fitting reflection of this.
In the mythology of the indigenous people of North America, who nowadays refer to themselves as Native Americans or First Nations, great strength and healing powers were attributed to the bear. In some legends, bears instructed humans in medicine and herbalism and there are even stories in which bears change their shape to live unrecognised among humans.
The Native Americans of the Great Plains performed a bear dance before hunting a grizzly, in which the hunters, led by a shaman in a bear skin, asked for the protection of supernatural powers. Before, during and after the bear hunt, many taboos were enforced with the aim of reconciling the bear's soul with death.
Swarovski and Münze Österreich, two of Austria’s most prestigious brands, have joined forces for the first time ever on a coin. The eye of the Australia’s mythical Rainbow Serpent is resplendent on the coin’s reverse.
But instead of silver like the rest of the coin, the eye is made of Swarovski Crystal® in a shade of orange with a hint of red, called fire opal. The colour fuels creativity and stands for joie de vivre, curiosity and creative activity.