When people think of investments in precious metals, the first item that comes to mind is gold. Whether it be gold bars, coins, or rounds, there is no denying that the yellow metal is first on the mind of many investors. While an investment in gold is nothing to scoff at, silver often proves to be an equally wise metal to invest in. Silver comes from all over the world and is produced by a variety of government and privately-owned mints.
Silver from Austria is some of the most intriguing you can find simply because of the storied history of precious metals in Austria. Despite it being a relatively small country tucked away in Central Europe, Austria has had a massive impact on the global precious metals industry.
When it comes to silver in Austria, the story begins nearly 1,000 years ago in 1192. It was during this year when Richard the Lionheart, of England, paid Duke Leopold V 12 tons of silver in exchange for being let out of jail. Unknowingly, this payment set forth the basic framework for what would eventually become the famed Austrian Mint.
The story behind Richard the Lionheart, also known as Richard I, becoming imprisoned is an interesting one. Duke Leopold was, in some way, insulted by the English King, and in retaliation for that he took custody of him outside Vienna. Richard I was traveling back to the United Kingdom from the Crusades when he was put into Austrian jail. After paying his “bail,” so to speak, Richard returned to England and Leopold decided he would use the silver to create some of Austria’s first coins. This seemingly small part of Austrian history laid forth the foundation for the Austrian Mint and more than 800 years of minting history.
Over the course of more than eight centuries, the mint has utilized many different ways of producing precious metals — most often coins. For more than 400 years, the most efficient way to produce coins was to strike them with a hammer. An assortment of presses soon followed, and now the mint is able to produce more coins in a single day than it was once able to produce in an entire year. While boasting a large quantity of coins minted annually, the Austrian Mint still adheres to the highest standards with regard to quality and intricacy. The imagery one each and every coin produced by the mint is unlike anything you have ever seen on a coin. The extremely detailed designs of the coin are what have ensured that the Austrian Mint will always be one of the most prestigious on the planet.
The Austrian Mint’s most famous coin is without a doubt the Philharmonic. It first appeared in 1989 as a 1 ounce and ¼ ounce gold coin, but a silver edition made its first appearance in 2008. On both sides of the coin, you will immediately notice that the imagery is dominated by instruments of all sorts. The reason for this is due to the fact that the coin is design to celebrate the famed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Founded in 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has since risen through the ranks to become one of, if not, the best in the world. The Musikverein Golden Hall is where the Orchestra calls home and its beautiful, large pipe organ is what dominates the obverse side of the Philharmonic silver coin. The design of the coin is so ornate that even the individual pipes of the organ can be deciphered with the naked eye. The reverse side of the coin is dominated by the images of a few different musical instruments, each used by the Philharmonic Orchestra. Though there are many, many silver coins on the market today, you will be hard-pressed to find one that is home to more detail than the Silver Philharmonic.
The Austrian Mint is not limited to solely the 1 ounce Silver Philharmonic, however, as many other beautiful coins are produced by the mint every year. For example, the Austrian Mint partook in a series of coins that celebrated the different geologic periods. The Triassic and Jurassic periods are just two of many celebrated by the coin series. Each coin depicts an animal from the respective time period. As is typical of coins from the Austrian Mint, the depiction on both the obverse and reverse sides of the coin are incredibly detailed and do well to depict the animal in its natural habitat as opposed to isolating the image against a blank background.
We could go on and on, but the point is, some of the world’s finest silver coins originate from Austria.
There are numerous places one can reach out to in order to acquire Austrian silver. The most traditional way of acquiring Austrian silver is by way of coin and pawn shops. If you live in a populated area, chances are you will be able to choose between a few different shops in order to find the exact coin you are looking for. If you live in a more rural part of the world, however, chances are you will not have an abundance of coins shops at which to shop.
Thanks to the internet and all the conveniences its breeds, purchasing Austrian silver has never been easier. By executing a few simple keystrokes and entering some basic financial information, you are able to purchase just about any coin your heart desires. What’s more, the fact that there are hundreds of online precious metals dealers means that you can shop around to find the best possible price for Austrian silver without ever having to leave your house. By taking the time to comparison shop between multiple dealers, you will find that you can quite easily secure a silver product for a competitive price. In addition, just a little bit of research will tell you what dealers are worth dealing with and which ones are not.