The Austrian Mint first began producing the Vienna Philharmonic in 1989 and it quickly became very popular. The Vienna Philharmonic coin is struck in the finest and purest gold, 999.9 fine (24 carats) in a painstaking minting process. It is issued every year, in four different face values, sizes and weights. It is used as an investment product (bullion coin), although it inevitably ends up in private collections. According to the World Gold Council, it was the best-selling gold coin worldwide in 1992, 1995 and 1996.
A design of musical instruments a cello, four violins, a Vienna horn, bassoon, and harp representing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the text WIENER PHILHARMONIKER (”Vienna Philharmonic”), can be seen on the reverse of the coin.
The subject of the obverse is the great organ in the Golden Hall in Vienna’s Musikverein, the concert hall of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The face value in Euros, the weight, alloy purity and year of issue are also inscribed on this side of the coin. At top sits the official name of the country, ‘REPUBLIK ‘STERREICH’.
Minted in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 oz sizes, all Vienna Philharmonics are made from 99.99% pure gold. No alloyed metals are added. All coins are minted at the Austrian Mint AG, now a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank which guarantees the weight and purity. The Mint was established in 1194. About 800 years ago, the Austrian Duke, Leopold V, took King Richard the Lionhearted of England prisoner after an argument in the Holy Land. When the King’s ransom was paid, a part of the silver was used to found the Vienna Mint and has remained in its current building since 1837.