Vienna Philharmonic (coin)

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Vienna Philharmonic
Austria
EdgeReeded (gold and platinum),
Smooth (silver)
Composition99.99% gold,
99.95% platinum,
99.9% silver
Years of minting1989–present
Obverse
1 oz Vienna Philharmonic 2017 reverse.png
DesignMusikverein Pipe Organ
DesignerThomas Pesendorfer
Design date1989
Reverse
1 oz Vienna Philharmonic 2017 averse.png
DesignOrchestra instruments
DesignerThomas Pesendorfer
Design date1989

The Vienna Philharmonic (German: Wiener Philharmoniker), often shortened to Philharmonic, is a bullion coin of gold, silver, or platinum produced by the Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich). The coin is named for the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, which inspired the design of both sides. It was introduced in 1989 as a one-troy ounce (ozt), gold coin with a face value of 2,000 Austrian schillings. It is generally one of the world's best selling bullion coins.[1][2] In 2002, with the adoption of the euro currency, the nominal value of the one-ounce coin was changed to 100 euros. In 2008, the Mint introduced a one-ounce silver version of the coin with a nominal value of 1.50 euros. The silver coin is also one of the top selling bullion coins, ranked third in 2013.[1] In 2016, the mint introduced a one ounce platinum coin with a face value of 100 euros.[3]

Like any bullion coin, the value is based primarily on the metal content and the spot price of that metal on the commodities markets. The gold Philharmonic has a fineness of 999.9 (often written 0.9999, also known as 24 carat or 99.99% pure).[4] In most countries in Europe, the gold Philharmonic is traded VAT-free while the Silver Philharmonic is partly subject to a reduced VAT rate. The coins are minted according to demand and production varies from year to year accordingly. The design on the coin remains the same each year; only the year of issue changes. From the outset, the obverse of the coin depicts the pipe organ in the Vienna Musikverein's Golden Hall. The reverse of the coin shows instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic, including Vienna horn, bassoon, harp, and four violins centered on a cello. Both designs were produced by the chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, Thomas Pesendorfer.

History[edit]

In November 1988, the Austrian Mint was authorized to produce one-ounce and fractional-ounce gold bullion coins by the Austrian National Council.[5] The gold Vienna Philharmonic was first offered on October 10, 1989, and was initially minted in two sizes: one-ounce and one-quarter ounce. The one-tenth and one-half ounce coins were added in 1991 and 1994 respectively. All coins feature the same design with the only difference being the weight and face value shown. The popularity of the Vienna Philharmonic grew quickly: in 1990, the coin was the best selling in Europe and second in the world. In 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2000 the World Gold Council declared it the best-selling gold coin in the world.[4] Since its introduction in October 1989 up to 2012, more than 14 million Philharmonics have been sold for a total weight of 9.6 million ounces or approximately 329 tons of gold.

After the introduction of the euro, Philharmoincs began to be minted with a face value denominated in the new currency starting in 2002. Since February 1, 2008, a one-ounce silver version of the coin with a nominal value of 1.50 euros has been issued, struck from 99.9 percent pure silver.[6] Unlike the reeded edge of the gold coin, the edge of the silver coins are smooth. Coins are shipped in boxes of 500, called "monster boxes." Each monster box consists of 25 tubes of 20 coins each. Sales of the silver Philharmonic have been brisk with over five million coins sold, equal to 1,800 tons of silver in the 5-year period of 2008 through 2012.

The mint introduced a one-ounce platinum coin with the same design as the gold and silver in 2016. Like the gold coin, it has a face value of 100 euros. The purity is shown as 999.5 with the obverse of the coin reading "1 UNZE PLATIN 999.5."[3]

The Vienna Philharmonic is currently the only European bullion coin with a face value in euros, although it is only legal tender in Austria. In 2004, the Vienna Philharmonic accounted for 35 to 40 percent of sales in Europe. It is also popular in Japan and North America.

For the 25th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic gold coin, the mint introduced the 125-ounce coin featuring the same design, but with a face value of 4.00 euros. Also for the anniversary, 5,000 proof sets of the one-ounce and one-quarter ounce coins were produced.[7] The 125-ounce coin has been continued in production.

Design[edit]

The design for the coin was originally created by Thomas Pesendorfer to be used for the gold Vienna Philharmonic that was first issued in 1989.[8] The Austrian Mint introduced the silver version of the coin in 2008. The design was unchanged and has remained the same each year.[9]

The obverse features the pipe organ from Golden Hall in the Musikverein, the concert hall in Vienna where the namesake orchestra plays. The German words "REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH" (Republic of Austria), the composition and the weight are also minted on the obverse.[4] The reverse design features an array of musical instruments including a harp, violins, a cello, a bassoon, and a Vienna horn. The words "WIENER PHILHARMONIKER" (Vienna Philharmonic) is also inscribed, as well as "SILBER" (Silver) or "PLATIN" (Platinum) on the respective coins.[4]

Silver Philharmonic coins

Gold Philharmonic specifications:

Size Diameter Thickness Weight Face value Years minted
125 ozt 13.0 mm (0.5 in) 1.2441 g 4 euros from 2014
110 ozt 16.0 mm (0.6 in) 1.2 mm (0.05 in) 3.121 g 10 euros 200 schillings from 1991
14 ozt 22.0 mm (0.9 in) 1.2 mm (0.05 in) 7.776 g 25 euros 500 schillings from 1989
12 ozt 28.0 mm (1.1 in) 1.6 mm (0.06 in) 15.552 g 50 euros 1,000 schillings from 1994
1 ozt 37.0 mm (1.5 in) 2.0 mm (0.08 in) 31.103 g 100 euros 2,000 schillings from 1989

Silver Philharmonic specifications:

Size Diameter Thickness Weight Face value Years minted
1 ozt 37.0 mm (1.5 in) 3.2 mm (0.13 in) 31.103 g 1.50 euros from 2008

Platinum Philharmonic specifications:

Size Diameter Thickness Weight Face value Years minted
125 ozt 13.0 mm (0.5 in) 1.24 g 10 euros from 2017
1 ozt 37.0 mm (1.5 in) 1.35 mm (0.05 in) 31.10 g 100 euros from 2016

Variations[edit]

"Big Phil"[edit]

"Big Phil"

For the 15th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic bullion coin in 2004, the Austrian Mint created a 1,000-troy ounce version with nominal value 100,000 euros.[10] The "Big Phil" coin consists of 31.103 kilograms (68.57 lb) of gold. Dimensions were increased by tenfold over the one ounce coin yielding a diameter of 37 centimetres (15 in) and 2 centimetres (0.79 in) thickness (10 times thicker; 10 times wider; 1,000 times heavier than the standard 1-ounce coin). It was one of the largest coins with the highest denomination until it was eclipsed in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint's 100 kilograms (220 lb) version of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf with a face value of 1,000,000 Canadian dollars. In keeping with the 15th anniversary theme, only fifteen 100,000-euro Philharmonics were produced. The coin was unveiled in front of the Wiener Riesenrad in Vienna. One of the coins is displayed in the foyer of the Munich headquarters of precious metals company Pro Aurum.

20-ounce gold coin[edit]

For the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic coin, the Austrian Mint created a new size of the coin. This coin has a face value of 2,000 euros and a fine weight of 20 troy ounces or 622 grams. The diameter is 74 millimetres (3 in) with a thickness of 8.3 millimetres (0.3 in). At the time of issue in October 2009, the material value was around 14,000 euros. Due to the limited minting, the coin was sold at a premium of approximately 10 percent above gold price. The total circulation of these coins was 6,027 (providing 2,009 coins in each of the European, American, and Japanese markets), which were sold in velvet-lined wooden cases with certificates.[11]

Mintage figures[edit]

Gold[edit]

Year 125 ozt[12] 110 ozt[13] 14 ozt[14] 12 ozt[15] 1 ozt[4]
1989 272,000 351,000
1990 162,000 484,500
1991 82,500 146,000 233,500
1992 99,000 176,000 537,000
1993 99,500 126,000 234,000
1994 112,000 121,200 94,700 218,600
1995 151,100 156,000 57,400 645,500
1996 128,300 139,200 88,000 377,600
1997 115,300 100,700 68,200 408,300
1998 102,800 90,800 47,300 330,300
1999 145,000 81,600 44,200 230,700
2000 32,600 25,900 20,500 245,700
2001 26,400 25,800 26,800 54,700
2002 75,789 40,807 40,922 164,105
2003 59,654 34,019 26,848 179,881
2004 67,994 32,449 24,269 176,319
2005 62,071 32,817 21,049 158,564
2006 39,892 29,609 20,08 82,174
2007 76,325 34,631 5,091 108,675
2008 176,682 97,090 73,778 715,842
2009 437,706 171,992 92,249 903,047
2010 226,685 84,968 56,607 501,951
2011 272,227 102,026 73,488 586,686
2012 176,262 64,314 49,483 341,411
2013 193,115 77,219 69,573 579,223
2014 78,551 147,461 68,440 57,816 418,919
2015 88,157 263,439 112,228 101,500 647,100
2016 67,91 181,536 91,809 78,460 451,007
2017 40,186 131,815 65,086 52,281 355,436
2018 44,637 116,932 46,080 44,750 318,334
2019 44,023 100,697 56,199 40,890 164,312

Platinum[edit]

Year 125 ozt[16] 1 ozt[17]
2016 35,257
2017 4,100 15,354
2018 2,814 13,753
2019 2,034 17,798

Silver[edit]

Year 1 ozt[6]
2008 7,773,000
2009 9,014,800
2010 11,358,200
2011 17,873,700
2012 8,769,200
2013 14,536,400
2014 4,643,508
2015 7,298,593
2016 3,448,390
2017 2,064,804
2018 2,101,592
2019 2,904,983

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Top Official Coin Sales: Market Overwhelmingly Chooses Silver". SRSrocco Report. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. The Gold Maple Leaf sales took first place at 1,140,000 oz while the Gold Eagle came in second at 856,500 oz, followed by an estimated 750,000 oz of South African Krugerrands, 544,000 oz of Gold Philharmonics, and 460,082 Gold Pandas.
  2. ^ "Gold coin sales from national Mints fall in Q1". Reuters. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2014. The United States, Canadian and Austrian Mints, which between them produce three of the world's top five bullion investment coins, all reported lower sales in the first quarter of 2012 versus a year ago.
  3. ^ a b "Austrian Mint Issues First Platinum Coin, Part of the Prestigious Vienna Philharmonic Range". PR Newswire. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016. The Austrian Mint has issued a new platinum Vienna Philharmonic coin as the latest addition to its internationally renowned coin range. Unveiled at the Berlin Coin Fair, the coin marks the Austrian Mint's first platinum offering.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Vienna Philharmonic 1 Ounce Fine Gold (999.9)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  5. ^ BGBl. Nr. 597/1988
  6. ^ a b "Vienna Philharmonic 1 Ounce Fine Silver (999)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Two-coin Proof Quality Set 25th Anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  8. ^ "Austrian Philharmonic Silver Bullion Coins". World Mint News Blog. 13 April 2020. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Austrian Vienna Philharmonic Silver Bullion Coin". World Mint Coins. Retrieved 20 February 2020.
  10. ^ Dobnik, Verena (10 October 2004). "Austria's new coin valued at $500,000". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Gold Philharmonic 20th Anniversary Commemorate Coin". CoinNews.net. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  12. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1/25 Ounce Fine Gold (999.9)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1/10 Ounce Fine Gold (999.9)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1/4 Ounce Fine Gold (999.9)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1/2 Ounce Fine Gold (999.9)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  16. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1/25 Ounce Platinum (999.5)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Vienna Philharmonic 1 Ounce Platinum (999.5)". Austrian Mint. Retrieved 26 December 2020.

External links[edit]