In recent years, the demand for precious metal platinum has increased as prices have continued to rise. And while its availability has dropped, consequently there has been renewed interest in platinum coins. Several mints have offered platinum coins for sale during the platinum-glut period, while other mints have entered the market recently and attempted to capture the renewed demand and increase their coin programs. The Austrian Mint is an example of the latter manufacturing the Austrian Platinum Philharmonic coin.
Platinum Austrian Philharmonic coins debuted in 1989 and their popularity with collectors has grown steadily throughout the 90s and 2000s. In 2008, the series expanded to include a Silver Philharmonic, which promptly became a best-seller in continental Europe. In 2016, another Philharmonic coin was issued. Created by Thomas Pesendorfer, the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint, the coin features images closely linked to the cultural pride the country has in the famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It debuted with a 1 oz gold coin and a ¼ oz option.
The design of the Musikverein pipe organ appears on the obverse side of the coin. Also referred to as the Golden Music Hall, this is the home of the Orchestra and is located in the Innere Stadt area of Vienna, the national capital. Engravings on the coin in German include: “Republik Oesterreich” and “1 Unze Platin 999.5.” The reverse side features the other design the artist created in 1989 for gold coins. They include a collection of musical instruments that are used by members of the Orchestra: A large cello in the center, flanked on either side by two violins, a Vienna horn, harp, and a bassoon. The engravings are also in German and read “Wiener Philharmonic.” The coin is an annual-release in the Austrian Philharmonic series.
The Austrian Mint was commissioned by Duke Leopold V in 1194. Legend states that he was paid 15 tons of silver by Richard the Lionheart of England to secure freedom for his forces and safe passage to England after his country’s intervention in the crusades. The Duke used those funds to build the Mint and today the Mint is responsible for the production of Austrian Shillings and the modern Euro coins. It is a subsidiary of the National Bank of Austria.