The Colourful Creatures Series by the Austrian mint kicked off with three-euro glow-in-the-dark collector coins in October 2016. A new coin will be released every three months until July 2019. Though these coins are legal tender only in Austria, they are for collectors and not for general circulation. The 12-coin program will feature a different animal, engraved and coloured to photorealistic effect. They are “first strike”-quality coins which are separately inspected.
The Wolf coin from the series was released on 22nd November. The reverse features two examples of Eurasian wolfs which are found in Europe, Russia, and the Asian steppes. They are howling at the full moon. The wolf is coloured in tawny reds, creamy whites, ashy greys and charcoal blacks. There are tree trunks with scaly looking leaves. A path leads to a forest of pine trees behind them. Other elements such as rocks, grass, sky, and pond are beautifully depicted. The inscriptions 2017 and WOLF also appear on the reverse.
All the animals to be depicted on coins from the “Colorful Creatures” series are featured on the obverse as a group. They include bat, owl, a pine or fir tree, a crescent moon, a howling wolf, an African savannah tree, an otter, a crayfish, a turtle, a shark, a tiger, a parrot. a kingfisher, a frog, a crocodile, wild grass. Flowers and stars appear between the land animals; dots and circles appear between the sea creatures. A pointillistic effect is used in this design. Inscriptions include REPUBLIK OSTERREICH, “3” and EURO. Certain elements of the coin Glow in the Dark. The Cupro-nickel 16.00 grams coin has a mintage limit of 50,000.