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Austrian Salt Mining Coin

Published March 8, 2024 | 1 min read

By Sydney Stewart

The Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich) has unveiled the first coin in its White Gold of Hallstatt series—a silver 20 euro that recognizes the significance of salt mining in the Hallstatt region during the Iron Age (1,000 B.C.-1 B.C.).

Hallstatt is located on the southern end of the Salzkammergut region of central Austria. Hallstatt has played an essential role in salt mining since the prehistoric era. Salt is abundant in the mountains surrounding the city, making its mines the oldest in the world. The tools found in the mines were incredibly sophisticated for the time. In the Iron Age, the people of Hallstatt mined and traded the mineral, and the salt from Hallstatt supplied half of Central Europe. This thriving trade allowed the city to flourish, resulting in the prominent Hallstatt culture. Furthermore, the trade resulted in an influx of foreign goods and materials entering Hallstatt.

Kathrin Kuntner and Rebecca Wilding designed the coin. The obverse features two pickaxes similar to those found in the prehistoric salt mines of Hallstatt set against a rocky background. An ornamental design appears behind the pickaxes along with inscriptions for the issuing country, denomination, and year. Created in the style of Iron Age art, the reverse depicts workers mining, collecting, and transporting salt.

The Salt Mining 20-euro collector coin. (Photo: Münze Österreich)

The piece, Salt Mining, has a mintage of 30,000. It will come in a case with a protective slipcase and a numbered certificate of authenticity. To learn more and to order, visit the Austrian Mint’s website.