The Austrian Mint has been producing extraordinary gold coins for eight centuries and the Philharmonic, their contribution to the modern bullion market, is no exception.
The one-ounce, 24-karat Philharmonic was introduced in 1989 and soon became Europe’s top selling gold bullion coin. In 1992, 1995, 1996, and 2000, the Philharmonic also topped the World Gold Council’s list of global best sellers. In 2008, it outsold both the Krugerrand and the American Gold Eagle worldwide.
Thomas Pesendorfer, chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, designed the Philharmonic as a tribute to the renowned Wiener Philharmoniker, or Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The obverse portrays the Great Organ installed in the orchestra’s home, the acoustically unequaled Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, in 1907. Above the organ is the inscription “REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH” (Austrian Republic) and below “1 UNZE GOLD 999.9,” the date, and the denomination.
The Austrian Philharmonic had a denomination of 2,000 schillings until 2002, when it became the first euro-denominated gold bullion coin with a face value of €100.
The reverse of the Philharmonic portrays a cello flanked on each side by two violins with a Vienna horn, bassoon, and harp behind them. Above the instruments is the inscription, “WIENER PHILHARMONIKER.”
In addition to the 1-ounce coin, fractional Austrian Gold Philharmonics weighing 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce are also available bearing face values of €50, €25, and €10 respectively.
To celebrate the Philharmonic’s 15th year in 2004, the Austrian Mint used a computer to sculpt one 1,000-ounce Gold Philharmonic, with a face of €100,000 for every year of mintage. After finishing the giant coins by hand, the mint put them on the market. All fifteen were sold within two weeks.
The highly-prized Austrian Gold Philharmonic is ideal for investors who like their bullion with a side of true class.
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