The Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coin, first released by the Austrian Mint in Vienna, Austria in 1989, is Europe’s best-selling gold bullion coin and is issued every year in four different face values, sizes, and weights. The 1 oz. Philharmonic is 24 karat gold. Its 99.99% purity, attractive design, and superior quality have earned it international popularity. The Philharmonic’s purity, weight, and content are guaranteed by the Austrian Mint. With a face value of 100 Euro, its legal tender status is backed by both the government of Austria and the European Union. For 12 years, the Philharmonic was denominated in Austrian Shillings, carrying a face value of 2000 shillings from 1989 to 2001. Since 2001, the coin has been denominated in Euros.
The obverse of the coin features a rendering of the great organ in the Musikverein concert hall of Vienna, home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Wiener Musikverein, usually shortened to Musikverein, is German for the Viennese Music Association. This concert hall is known as one of the finest in the world, with its high ceilings, expansive length, and narrow width contributing to its superb acoustics. Above the organ are the words, “Republik Osterreich,” the country’s official name, The Republic of Austria, in English. Beneath the depiction of the organ, the coin reads, “1 Unze Gold 999.9” with the date of mintage directly below. The bottom of the coin displays its face value, reading, “100 Euro,” and before 2002, “2000 Shilling.”
The reverse of the coin exhibits an eye-catching collection of orchestral instruments, with a Viennese horn, bassoon, and harp in the background, four cellos in the foreground, and a string bass prominently displayed in the center. The words, “Wiener Philharmoniker,” in English, Vienna Philharmonic, stretch across the top of the coin. Engraver Thomas Pesendorfer designed the coin’s award-winning artwork.
Since February 2008, the Austrian Philharmonic has also been produced as a silver bullion coin, with the same design as the gold, and carrying a face value of 1.5 Euro.
The 1 oz. Austrian Gold Philharmonic is 37 mm in diameter and 2 mm thick.