The Austrian Mint in Vienna has released its silver and niobium coin for 2008, which is dedicated to the “Fascination of Light”. Together with water, light is one of the most important factors of life. Without the light of the sun our planet would be cold and dead.
The historical occasion for the new coin is the 150 anniversary of the birth of the great Austrian chemist and entrepreneur, Dr. Carl Baron Auer von Welsbach (1858-1929). Among other discoveries Welsbach is remembered for the development of the gas mantle which improved gas lighting in the streets and homes. The gas mantle of 1890 was more robust than earlier methods and produced a “whiter” light.