The first 2016-dated issue of the Austrian Mint features a world-famous society event, the Vienna Opera Ball. An annual Austrian society event which takes place in the building of the Vienna State Opera, on the Thursday preceding Ash Wednesday. Together with the New Year Concert, the Opera Ball is one of the highlights of the Viennese carnival season.
The Opera Ball was first held in 1935, but was suspended during World War II. It was revived after the war and has been held annually ever since, with the exception of 1991, when it was cancelled due to the Persian Gulf War. Since 2008, Desirée Treichl-Stürgkh has been the chairman (supervising organizer) of the Vienna Opera Ball.
The coin is struck in a format very familiar to collectors of Austrian Mint product; a 34mm, 0.900 silver coin of 20g weight. Like most Euro coins, the design is unique to both the reverse and obverse sides and the quality of work here looks high, hardly surprising given the mints star team of Thomas Pesendorfer and Mag. Helmut Andexlinger are responsible for it. An unusual subject for a coin, especially given the growing disconnect with the rich these days, but there are plenty of people harking back to the days when this kind of thing was the highlight of the entertainment calendar and it’s rare for the Austrian Mint to get it wrong, so there’s obviously a market. One of the few coins from this superb mint that incorporates colouring, although here it’s very restrained and used to highlight rather than overwhelm.
Available from 20 January 2016, the mintage is limited to 50,000 and the coin retails for €55.20.