Posted on December 13, 2018
The Austrian Mint issues one of the most sought-after bullion coin programs each year in the form of the Austrian Philharmonic coin. These bullion coins debuted in 1989 with the Austrian Gold Philharmonic and expanded in recent years to include the Silver Philharmonic and Platinum Philharmonic. Like many other official bullion coin programs, the Austrian Philharmonic coins use the same obverse and reverse designs each year and offer their own uniqueness across the three metallic options. Learn more about the latest release of these distinctive bullion coins now!
The Austrian Gold Philharmonic is the leading coin in this extensive bullion series. The Gold Philharmonic was introduced by the Austrian Mint in 1989 with a 1 oz gold and 1/4 oz gold coin. For the first two years of issue, the Gold Philharmonic include only these two weights. In 1991, the mint added a 1/10 oz coin to the series followed by a 1/2 oz coin in 1994. It would be another 20 years until an additional weight was issued. The 2014 issue included a new 1/25 oz coin. The choice of weight was a nod to the commemorative 25th anniversary of the Gold Philharmonic series.
Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coins are unique in the series in that all the coins, with the exception of the 1/25 oz weight, debuted with face values in Austrian schillings. In 2002, as Austria adopted the Euro currency the face value of the coins was switched to Euros from Austrian schillings. The Austrian Philharmonic coins, in all metals, are the only European bullion coins with a face value in Euros. Despite the acceptance of the Euro across the European Union, the face value of the Austrian Philharmonics is only considered legal tender within Austria. The available weights and face values for Austrian Gold Philharmonics is listed below (previous Austrian schillings included):
All Austrian Gold Philharmonic coins are available with .9999 pure gold content. The coins are typically available individually inside of protective packaging or in mint tubes. The 1 oz coin is also available in a Monster Box. 2019 is a special date mark for the Gold Philharmonic as it marks the 30th anniversary of the coin’s debut.
After 19 years on its own, the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin got a companion in the form of the Austrian Silver Philharmonic coin. The Silver Philharmonic coin debuted in 2008 and was able to take advantage immediately of rising silver prices and the onset of the Great Recession within the global marketplace. The Silver Philharmonic quickly shot to fame as the highest minted and most well-known silver coin on the European continent. Each coin contains 1 oz silver with .999 purity and a face value of €1.50 (Euros).
The first release of Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins included a mintage of 7,773,000 coins. During the initial five-year span of 2008 to 2012, the Austrian Mint reported sales of 54 million units for the Silver Philharmonic. The highest single-year mintage came in 2011 when 17,873,700 coins were struck. Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are offered inside of individual packaging, mint tubes of 20 coins, or Monster Boxes of 500 coins that contain a total of 25 tubes.
The most recent addition to the Austrian Philharmonic Series is the Austrian Platinum Philharmonic. Just eight years after the introduction of the silver coin, the Austrian Mint rolled out the Austrian Platinum Philharmonic coin. Like its silver and gold counterparts, the platinum coins have the same obverse and reverse designs each year. Austrian Platinum Philharmonics contain 1 Troy oz of .9995 pure platinum and feature a face value of €100 (Euros).
The gold, silver, and platinum coins in the Austrian Philharmonic series share the same design elements on the obverse and reverse each year. The obverse of all coins includes a depiction of the Great Organ. This massive musical instrument is found within the Musikverein Golden Concert Hall that is located in the national capital of Vienna’s Innere Stadt neighborhood. The face value, year of issue, nation of issue, weight, metal content, and purity are all engraved on this side of the coin.
On the reverse of all Austrian Philharmonic coins is a collection of musical instruments used by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. While the members of the orchestra use various instruments, the items included in this design are a cello in the center, two violins on the sides, and a background field that includes a harp, horn, bassoon, and flute.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is the inspiration for the Austrian Philharmonic coin series. The Vienna Philharmonic is widely regarded as one of, if not, the greatest orchestras in the world. The history of the orchestra dates back to the 1830s when informal orchestral performances took place in the city. Starting in 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was formed and has regularly performed in Vienna, throughout Austria, and around the world.
The designs of the Austrian Philharmonic collection were created in 1989 by Thomas Pesendorfer. His obverse and reverse designs are used on all three versions of the coin. Pesendorfer originally planned to become a sculptor and followed an educational path to achieve that goal. He attended the College of Metal Design in Steyr, Austria. Following his completion of educational courses at the College of Metal Design, he started training at the Austrian Mint. The first coin he designed for the mint was the 20 schilling coin featuring a portrait of Joseph Haydn, an Austrian composer. As of 1993, Pesendorfer is the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint and his most high-profile designs are found on the Austrian Philharmonic coins.
Founded in 1194, the Austrian Mint has a unique background story. Duke Leopold V of Austria was responsible for founding the mint and used a payment of 15 tonnes of silver paid to him by England’s King Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart, as a bounty to secure his release from prison. Leopold V had imprisoned Richard I and his troops on their return from the Third Crusade in the Middle East as a result of a previous insult.
Today, the Austrian Mint is located in the national capital of Vienna. It is the official sovereign mint of the nation responsible for producing Austrian Euros for circulation and produces the Austrian Philharmonic Coins.
All coins in the Austrian Philharmonic Series are currently available for presale online from JM Bullion. If you have questions when buying these coins, please don’t hesitate to ask. Our customer service team is available to you at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address. Don’t forget that you can also follow us on Facebook and check in weekly with our blog for the latest information on all our new and upcoming products.