The Austrian Mint started with the production of the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coins in 1989. The coins' name and design is a tribute to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Wiener Philharmoniker). Therefore, the coins are listed as Vienna Gold Philharmonic coins on some websites. The popular coins exist with brilliant uncirculated and proof finishes and are made of 99.99% gold (24 karat). They were the world's best-selling gold coins in 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2000. Up to 2012, more than 14 million Austrian Gold Philharmonics have been sold, weighing approximately 329 tons of gold.
The design of the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin was created by the chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, Thomas Pesendorfer. It has remained unchanged ever since 1989. The obverse side displays an image of classical music instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, including a horn, harp, cello and four violins. The German name "Wiener Philharmoniker" of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is engraved along the coin's edge.
The reverse side features the Great Organ that is located in the Viennese Concert Hall, the home venue of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. “Republik Österreich” - Austrian Republic - is engraved above the organ and the coin's date of mintage, face value as well as actual gold weight and purity appear below.
The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coins have a reeded edge.
Gold Purity: 99.99%
|Weight||Face Value||Diameter x Thickness|
|1.000 oz||100.000 Euro||37 x 2 cm|
|20 oz||2.000 Euro||74 x 8.3 mm|
|1 oz||100 Euro||37 x 2 mm|
|1/2 oz||50 Euro||28 x 1.6 mm|
|1/4 oz||25 Euro||22 x 1.2 mm|
|1/10 oz||10 Euro||16 x 1.2 mm|
|1/25 oz||4 Euro||13 x 0.92 mm|
Silver Purity: 99.9%
|Weight||Face Value||Diameter x Thickness|
|1 oz||1,5 Euro||37 x 3.2 mm|
Platinum Purity: 99.95%
|1 oz||100 Euro||37 mm|
The Austrian Mint in Vienna started producing Austrian Gold Philharmonics in 1 oz and 1/4 oz in 1989. The 1/10 oz and 1/2 oz coins were added to the series in 1991 and 1994 respectively. The 1/25 oz coin is the newest addition to the popular coin series with its first issuance in 2014. Austrian Gold Philharmonics were already Europe's best selling coins in 1990. According to the World Gold Council, they were the world's best-selling gold coins in 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2000. Until 2001, the coins were issued in denominations of Austrian Schilling. Since 2002, they are minted as euros. More than 14 million Austrian Gold Philharmonics have been sold worldwide between 1989 and 2012.
The 1 oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin was first minted in 1989. Annual mintages vary between 54.700 coins in 2001 up to 835.700 coins in 2009. The 1/2 oz gold bullion coin was first produced in 1994. The years with the lowest annual mintage were 2000 (20.500 coins), 2005 (21.049 coins) and 2006 (20.085 coins). The lowest annual mintages of the 1/4 oz coin (produced since 1989) were 25.800 coins in 2001 and 25.900 coins in 2000. The 1/10 oz coin that is issued since 1991 had its lowest annual production in 2001 with 26.400 coins. Production of the 1/25 oz coin just started in 2014 with 78.600 coins.
Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers.
For the coin's 20th anniversary in 2009, the Austrian Mint produced 6.027 coins of 20 oz with a face value of 2.000 Euros each.
Furthermore, the Austrian Mint produced 15 special 1.000 oz versions of the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin for the 15th anniversary of the coin's existence in 2004. They are known as "Big Phil" and have a face value of 100.000 Euros each. Each of these coins required 130 hours to produce. The 15 coins were all sold within two weeks after sales began.
The Austrian Mint introduced the 1 oz Silver Philharmonic coin in 2008. It is struck out of 99.9% pure silver and has a face value of 1.50 Euros. The 1 oz silver coin is 3.2 mm thick, but its diameter is identical to the thinner gold coin. Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins have the same design as the gold coins but their edge is smooth. More than 5 million silver coins were sold between 2008 and 2012.
The platinum version of the popular Philharmonic coins will see its inaugural issue in 2016. These new coins, identical in design to the gold and silver versions, will only be available in the 1 oz denomination out of 99.95% pure platinum. The 1 oz Austrian Platinum Philharmonic Coins with a face value of 100 Euros will be of the same size (37 mm diameter) as the gold and silver 1 oz coins.