Austria – 10 Euro Silver BU, Niederösterreich, 2013

Situated in the north east of the country, Niederosterreich is both Vienna’s immediate hinterland and Austria’s largest province. A place where industry and agriculture coexist, it also boasts areas of exquisite natural beauty, none more so than the Wachau. Here, beneath terraced vineyards, ruined castles and ancient monasteries, the mighty Danube forms one of the world’s most spectacular river valleys. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it makes for the perfect centrepiece of the third 10 euro silver coin in our superb Austria Piece by Piece series.

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San Marino – 5 Euro Silver BU, Federico Fellini, 2013

Federico Fellini (Rimini, 20th January 1920 – Rome, 31st October 1993). He is one of the greatest movie directors of the world that showed Italy of his time as a dream full of emotions. The obverse of the coin represents a movie camera and the portrait of Federico Fellini. His scarf turns into the Rex, the biggest Italian transatlantic which appeared in his movie called “Amarcord”. The ship is topped by the three Towers with the three feathers, symbol of the Republic of San Marino. The reverse shows a vignette by Fellini with a caricature of Giulietta Masina taken from the movie “La strada” and a film strip with the writing “Federico Fellini”.

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Canada – 20 Dollars Silver 1 oz Proof, Blue Flag Iris, 2013

The flower immortalized as the fleur-de-lys symbol of Quebec is not a lily, as many people believe, but Iris versicolor —the Blue Flag Iris. Canada’s most ubiquitous native iris, and the provincial flower of Quebec, the showy Blue Flag adorns wetlands, meadows, and shorelines from Manitoba to Newfoundland and is a perennial favourite of Canadian gardeners. A stunning flower design with three Swarovski elements. Continue reading

Vatican – Sede Vacante, 2013

Vatican - 5 Euro Silver Sede Vacante, 2013

Vatican – 5 Euro Silver Sede Vacante, 2013

Vatican - 10 Euro Gold Sede Vacante, 2013

Vatican – 10 Euro Gold Sede Vacante, 2013

On 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict announced his resignation in a speech in Latin before the cardinals, citing a “lack of strength of mind and body” due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294.

On 13 March 2013 the Conclave chose Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Francis) as the 266th Pope. To commemorate the transition of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican City has the right to mint coins of Sede Vacante for the 13 days of vacancy of the Holy See. This tradition has historical roots in the fourteenth century, but became a custom starting from the death of Leo X in 1521.

In June 2013, the Vatican City will be issuing three commemorative coins to mark this occasion: 2 Euro BU (mintage 111,000), 5 Euro Silver Proof (mintage 7,000), and 10 Euro Gold Proof (mintage 5,000). Continue reading