Austrian Mint

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Austrian Mint

The Austrian Mint is an internationally renowned manufacturer of gold bullion and silver bullion products. It is among the world's leading mints when it comes to precious metals know-how and coin production. It strikes some of the best-selling gold coins and silver coins and offers various collectibles and medals, satisfying collectors and investors alike.

Although operating as a private company, subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank, the Austrian Mint is solely responsible for manufacturing all circulating Austrian coins in its central Vienna Headquarters.

Arguably, the Austrian Mint's most prominent products are the Vienna Philharmonic coins. They celebrate the pride and history of the famous Vienna orchestra and are available in gold, silver, and platinum versions.

Named Münze Österreich in Austria, it has almost 200 employees, producing around 350 million coins every year.

History of the Austria Mint

The first historical document mentioning the Austrian Mint dates to around the 1400s, but the Mint itself traces its origin back to 1194. Richard the Lionheart, King of England at the time, had been captured near Vienna while on his way home from the Crusades. He had personally offended Duke Leopold V of Austria and was imprisoned under the Duke's orders.

The English Crown then paid a ransom of 12 tonnes of silver to free their monarch. Duke Leopold then decided to strike silver coins with the ransom, giving way to over 800 years of minting history.

Initially named the Vienna Mint, it was first situated near Hoher Markt, then in the Wollzeile, and also in Himmelpfortgasse, Prince Eugene's winter residence.

The Vienna Mint quickly innovated in terms of craftsmanship and was always on the vanguard of high-quality coin production and in the precious metals industry. It used different minting techniques throughout the centuries, starting with the minting hammer, then adopting the roller press, rocker press, screw press, and finally, ring striking, the method that has been used since the 19th century. Nowadays, the Mint produces around 750 coins per minute.

The Austrian Mint's long history includes some of the world's most important and famous coins, such as the Maria Theresa Thaler from 1780.

Different Mints were established in various towns and cities, including Graz, Krems, Villach, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. However, once the Republic of Austria was formed, the Vienna Principal Mint became the sole mint in the country, responsible for the entire production of the Austrian schilling coins until 2002, and nowadays, the Austrian Euro. The Mint is also responsible for producing commemorative coins and bullion coins in gold, silver, and platinum, including the Vienna Philharmonic coins.

When the Austrian Central Bank purchased and incorporated the mint, its name officially changed to the Austrian Mint (Munze Osterreich).

Austrian Mint Gold Coins

Gold Philharmonic coins

The Gold Philharmonic coin is Austria’s official gold bullion coin. It has always enjoyed high demand among investors and collectors alike due to its awe-striking design. For many years in the 90s, the World Gold Council declared it the best-selling gold coin in the world.

It is available in 1 Troy oz size, with a face value of 100 euros, and also in 4 different fractional sizes. See table below:

Size

Face Value

Minted Since

1 Troy ounce

100 euros

1989

1/2 Troy ounce

50 euros

1994

1/4 Troy ounce

25 euros

1989

1/10 Troy ounce

10 euros

1991

1/25 Troy ounce

4 euros

2014

 

All coins are 24 carat, meaning they are 99.99% pure gold.

Thomas Pesendorfer, chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, created the designs on both faces. The coin's obverse features the pipe organ in the Golden Hall of the Viennese Musikverein. Below the organ are inscriptions indicating the weight, gold fineness, mint year, and face value. Surrounding the outer rim are the words Republik Osterreich (Republic of Austria).

The reverse showcases a display of orchestra instruments that includes the Vienna horn, a bassoon, a harp, and four violins, all surrounding a cello. Above them, encircling the design is the inscription WIENER PHILHARMONIC.

The Gold Philharmonic coin has reeded edges.

Austrian Mint Silver Coins

Silver Philharmonic Coins

The Austrian Philharmonic Silver coins were introduced in 2008. Struck with 99.9% pure silver, they are only available at 1 Troy oz weight and have a denomination of €1.50. They have the same design as the gold counterpart.

However, unlike the gold version, the Austrian Philharmonic silver coin has smooth edges.

The Austrian Mint also provides a MintCertified™ Sealed Tube containing 20 units of the Silver Philharmonic.

Austrian Mint Platinum Coins

Platinum Philharmonic Coins

The Austrian Mint has produced Platinum Philharmonic Coins since 2016. Moreover, they introduced a fractional size of 1/25 ounce platinum coin in 2017. Their face values are €100 Euros for the 1-ounce version and €4 for the 1/25-ounce version. They have the same designs as the gold and silver coins. Platinum coins have become more popular over the years, and platinum can be very scarce to source. Therefore, you’ll notice inventories won’t be as heavy as their gold and silver counterparts.

Austrian Mint Commemorative Coins

The "Big Phil"

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic coin program in 2004, the Austrian Mint produced a 1,000-Troy-ounce version of the gold coin. The "Big Phil," as it was called, has a nominal value of €100,000. It enjoyed the position of the largest coin in the world for three years before the Royal Canadian Mint released its 100-kilogram Gold Maple Leaf. Only fifteen of these Gold Philharmonics were produced, one for each year of the program that far.

20-ounce Gold Coin

For the 20th anniversary of the program, the Austrian Mint struck a commemorative 20-ounce gold coin with a limited mintage of 6,027 units and a denomination of € 2,000. Each unit was sold in a velvet-lined wooden case carrying a certificate.

Other Austrian Mint Gold Coins

Austrian Coronas

The Corona was the first gold-based currency in Austria. Corona means "Crown" in Latin. It was introduced in 1892 and gold coins are available in three different denominations, 10 Crowns, 20 Crowns and 100 Crowns. These coins could make for a sensible investment option for those who enjoy collecting old coins that are still very valuable not only in terms of numismatics but also in precious metal content.

The obverse showcases a right-facing profile of Emperor Franz Joseph I, one of the longest-running leaders in European history. He ruled from 1848 until his death in 1916 during World War I.

The reverse side features the double-headed eagle wearing the "Crown of Austria."

Modern Re-strikes

The Gulden (a german word for a major currency), later renamed Florin, was the official currency of the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy until 1892, when it was replaced for the Corona. It was a silver-based currency. Recently, the Austrian Mint has re-struck this coin in gold with the 1892 mint year.

The reverse also displays the two-headed heraldic eagle of Austria. One interesting fact is that the coin has a double denomination of 8 Florin and 20 Francs, as the latter was the most-used currency across Europe during the 19th century.

The obverse, like the Coronas, also displays a bust of Emperor Franz Joseph I, the longest-running ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Purchase Austrian Mint Bullion coins from SD Bullion

SD Bullion is your best website for purchasing Austrian Mint platinum, silver, and gold coins. We have various Vienna Philharmonic coins and also the historic gold coronas in our inventory. For more information, you can contact our bullion experts at 1(800)294-8732 or through our live web-chat feature.

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