20 euro - Asia – the Power of the Tiger
Series: Austria - The Eyes of the World
Known as the King of the Animals throughout Asia, the tiger has no natural enemies but many admirers. Since time immemorial, people have marvelled at the tiger’s imposing appearance and natural beauty, which are accentuated by the fiery red crystals by Swarovski® that form the tiger’s eyes on the third coin in the Eyes of the World series. The colour symbolises strength and energy, yet for an animal of such power, the tiger is also known as a peaceful creature despite being ready to fight whenever the occasion arises. In the cultural history of Asia, images of the tiger abound. Power and strength in all their forms are ascribed to the predator. In China, where the Year of the Tiger begins on 1 February 2022, the animal has always been an emblem of potency and bravery. In Hinduism, too, it plays a highly symbolic role, with the goddess Durga often portrayed astride a tiger. Ever alert, silent and solitary, the tiger sets out mainly at dusk or at night in search of prey, often wandering for hours at a time. Unlike lions, for which rivers and lakes present a barrier, tigers love water and are excellent swimmers. Deep in the bamboo thickets of the jungle, an eerie blur of light and shadow makes a fleeting appearance. But so perfectly camouflaged by its magnificent stripes, the tiger remains unrecognizable. A tiger is shown moving through a bamboo thicket on the coin’s obverse, the outer ring of which is adorned in the manner of the mandala, the geometric configuration of symbols that possesses magical significance in the rituals of Buddhism and Hinduism. The reverse is entirely dominated by the mighty head of a tiger, whose face is ornamented with punctiform-decorated scars and, last but not least, finely polished crystals by Swarovski®.