From Judaism to Zoroastrianism and from Christianity to Islam, through the ages people of many faiths have looked to angels for protection. Michael – the Protecting Angel is the first coin in the Austrian Mint’s talismanic new four-coin Guardian Angels series, which draws on art history and state-of-the-art colour application technology to celebrate these benevolent but invisible beings. Not only superbly crafted historical masterpieces, Guardian Angels are pocket-sized lucky tokens that will make you feel someone is watching over you.
As the leader of the angels, Michael has a particularly devoted following. The leader of the holy legion was the protector of the chosen people of Israel and became patron saint of the Holy Roman Empire after the victorious battle of Lechfeld in 955. The reverse of the 10 euro silver coin shows a detail adapted from the famous depiction of Saint Michael slaying the dragon, painted on the altar of the church of Saint Miquel de Soriguerola in Catalonia, Spain. The painting, which dates from the end of the 13th century, can be found today in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. The coin’s obverse shows a sword with a waved blade crossed with a set of scales framed inside the letter M. Counting among popular symbols of Michael, these are surrounded by a rich blue grapevine design.