20 euro - Australia – the Serpent Creator
Series: Austria - The Eyes of the World
Eyes of the World is a five-coin series of silver coins, each featuring an animal with a special characteristic for which it was praised in the myths of previous cultures. The eyes of the five animals featured in the series are each in their own shade of Swarovski® crystal, enhancing the animals’ already mythical quality. The first coin in the series, Australia – the Serpent Creator, features the Rainbow Serpent, considered by Aboriginal Australians to be the creator of the world. For Aboriginal Australians the world is explained through the ‘Dreamtime’, an epoch during which the earth, living creatures and plants obtained their physical appearance. One of the heroes of this mythical time is the Rainbow Serpent. In almost all regions of Australia the Rainbow Serpent is seen as the creator, which is dreamed of as an earth spirit that creates mountains, valleys and life’s most precious and vital resource – water. The Rainbow Serpent is a hermaphrodite creature that is able to reproduce itself. As it can shed its skin, it also stands for recreation and creative development and among mythical creatures is the creative one. The human eye cannot see the serpent’s real shape. As a rainbow it connects the sky and earth, the physical and metaphysical worlds. The coin’s obverse features an illustration of a snake slithering out of foliage. This is bordered by a dotted pattern reminiscent of Aboriginal Australian dot painting. The coin’s reverse is dominated by a large stylised snake head. The snake’s eye is made from orange-coloured drop-shaped stone of refined and polished Swarovski® crystal, from which a nuanced light is refracted. Both inspirational and resplendent, this also manages to create a sense of eye contact with the snake.