175 years of Vienna’s finest music commemorated with a new silver coin from Austria

If there’s a single symbol that you would associate with the Austrian Mint, it would be the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. One of the worlds most popular bullion coins in both gold and silver, the Austrian Philharmoniker is inextricably linked with the Muenz Osterreich (Austrian Mint). It therefore comes as no surprise that the mint would be the first to commemorative the 175th anniversary of the first performance of this seminal musical organisation.

Chosen as Europe’s finest orchestra in 2006, and the third best in the world in 2008 in a poll by Gramophone magazine, the Vienna Philharmonic is so popular that weekday concert subscriptions have a six year waiting list, weekend subscriptions a phenomenal thirteen years. Based in the Musikverein in Vienna, its members are selected from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Each musician must perform for at least three years to demonstrate their ability, after which they may request from the Vienna Philharmonic board an application for a position in the orchestra.

The coin is one typical of the Euro-zone currency in having custom designs on both sides of the coin, unlike Commonwealth currency that must depict the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The obverse of this coin depicts busts of three of the founders of the orchestra back in 1842, in front of which is the orchestra’s emblem in gilded form. The denomination, issuer and the dates 1842 and 2017 are inscribed.

The reverse is a fine one, crammed full of musicians in the middle of a lively performance. It’s actually a reproduction of a small part of a huge triptych by Max Oppenheimer called “Die Philharmoniker” that currently resides in the Belvedere Museum in Vienna. It measures around 5 x 3m in size. The inscription on this face reads 175 JAHRE WIENER PHILHARMONIKER (175 Years Vienna Philharmonic) and this is the only inscription on this face.

The coin comes in the usual ‘little red box’ that the mint has standardised on for almost all its releases. It is possible to buy a two coin set which appropriately enough, adds a Silver Philharmonic bullion coin. The coin alone costs €59.40 with the two-coin set costing an additional €27. Available to order now, it will ship from 18 January.



NAME 2017 175th Vienna Philharmonic
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 22.42 grams (20.74 fine)
DIAMETER 34.00 mm
MODIFICATIONS Selective gilding
MINTAGE 30,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes



The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gave what is considered to be its first ever performance on March 28, 1842. Issued in celebration of the 175th anniversary of that “Grand Concert”, and thus the founding of the Vienna Philharmonic, this splendid coin pays homage to the world famous orchestra and its unique sound.

The obverse of the coin features portraits of the orchestra’s three founding fathers, Otto Nicolai, August Schmidt and Alfred Julius Becher. In the background is the deed of incorporation of the orchestra, which was founded on principles of democracy and entrepreneurial initiative. Not only did the original “Grand Concert”, conducted by Otto Nicolai, lay the foundations for technically and musically brilliant performances of classical symphonic works, it also provided the members of the Court Opera Orchestra with an alternative source of income.

The coin’s reverse shows a detail from Max Oppenheimer’s 15m2 triptych “Die Philharmoniker”, which hangs in the Belvedere museum in Vienna.


By | 2016-12-28T21:08:15+00:00 December 28th, 2016|Categories: Art & Literature, Austrian Mint, Austria, Gilded, Silver|0 Comments

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