Austrian Philharmonic Coins are minted in both gold and silver bullion by the Austrian Mint in Vienna. The Gold Philharmonic was first produced in 1989 and it was not until after the Gold Philharmonic coin gained popularity that the bullion Silver Philharmonic coin was first minted in 2008.
The Austrian Philharmonic gold and silver coins were created to honor the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and were designed by Thomas Pesendorfer. Both gold and silver appear almost identical. The reverse features a collection of musical instruments, a string bass cello, a harp, violins, a bassoon, and a Viennese horn. The name of the orchestra “Wiener Philharmoniker” is written in German across the top edge.
Appearing on the obverse is the image of the “Great Organ” located in Vienna’s Musikverein Golden Hall where the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra performs.
Across the top edge the words “Republik Osterreich” translate to “the Republic of Austria”. The face value in Euro is located at the bottom edge with the date, weight and metal fineness just above. The only difference between the designs of the gold and silver coins is the silver has the German word “Silber” appearing below the orchestra name on the obverse side.
The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin (sometimes referred to as the Vienna Philharmonic) changed its denomination to Euros in 2002 which made it the first gold bullion coin to be denominated in Euros. Before joining the European Union Austria’s currency was shillings.
The Austrian Philharmonic gold bullion coin is extremely popular with precious metal investors. It has a tremendous worldwide following and regularly outsells its global competition such as the South African Krugerrand, American Eagle gold bullion coin and American Buffalo gold coin. This 100 Euro bullion coin has a purity of .9999 fine, it is a full 1 troy ounce in weight and can be included in an Individual Retirement Account Gold IRA.
The Austrian Philharmonics are larger in diameter than most 1 oz gold bullion coins (37mm) so therefore they are not as thick (2mm). In 2004 the Austrian Mint decided to produce a special commemorative coin to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Gold Philharmonic. It has a nominal face value of €100,000 and weighs in at a massive 1,000 troy ounces (69lbs or 31K).
The purity is .9999 fine 24 karat gold and it has a diameter of 370 mm (14.57 in) and a thickness of 20 mm (0.79 in). Only 15 of these huge coins were produced and at the time it was recorded as the largest gold coin in the world by the Guinness World Records.
Since then there have been other gold coins minted that have surpassed the size of the 2004 Austrian Philharmonic Gold special anniversary coin. The Royal Canadian Mint produced a 100 kilo (220 lb), 24 karat gold Maple Leaf with a face value of $1,000,000. The Perth Mint in Australia then went on to produce a 1 tonne (1,000 kilo 2,204lbs) coin with .9999 purity which is said to be worth over $57 million.
Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins are 1 ounce .999 fine silver which is indicated on the obverse side above the date with “1 Unze Feidsilber”. The Auastrian Philharmonic silver coin along with the gold is minted at the Austrian mint whose history goes back 800 years. On 28 March 1193, King Richard I of England also known as Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned there and a ransom demand was made for 33,000 pounds (15 tonnes) of silver for his release. It was those funds that financed the new city of Weiner (Vienna) where the Duke Of Austria decided to commence striking coins from the silver marking the beginning of the history of minting in Vienna.