Amadeus The Genius, the Austrian Mints second in its Mozart trilogy of proof silver coins
One of the archetypical boy geniuses of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced a body of musical work like no other in his short life, dying at age 35 from a fever. The Austrian Mint are celebrating the mans work with a trilogy of proof silver coins to be released one per year from 2015 to 2017. Each release looks at a period of his life and a famous work from that period. The first coin was called Wunderkind, and featured his early life. This one looks at the middle period of his career and is titled Genius, carrying a portrait of the man based on an early 19th century painting by Barbara Krafft on the obverse, and a scene from the opera Don Giovanni (1787) on the reverse. Both sides show a fine level of intricacy, and the strike is as excellent as you’d expect from the Austrian Mint. The designs are by a pair of the mints most prolific and proficient artists, Herbert Wahner and Mag. Helmut Andexlinger, the former replacing Thomas Pesendorfer who did part honours on the 2015 coin.
Struck in 90% pure silver (0.900), and weighing 20g, these are not hugely expensive at €54.00, even allowing for a mintage of 50,000. Each coin carries an inscribed signature fragment, one word of his name on each coin, which when placed in the collectors box will spell out his name in full. The coin comes in the usual Austrian Mint red box, but for around €45 you can purchase a themed collectors box to hold the three coins and their certificates. Available to order now from both the mints estore, and dealers worldwide, the coin will start shipping on 11 May. The last coin is due next year and at his musical afterlife with the Magic Flute (1791).
The sublime second coin in the Austrian Mint’s three-coin Mozart series, Amadeus puts the spotlight on Mozart during his adult years. The Vienna music world made him rich, yet he died in debt. But this little gem shows that the music of the greatest composer of all time is priceless.
After a period of intensive travel, which raised his profile and earned him numerous commissions, Mozart left his job as the court organist in Salzburg and went to Vienna in 1781. Although he was at his creative peak in the capital, his extravagant lifestyle meant that he saved little, even refusing to curb his spending during periods of financial difficulty. One of his many triumphs, Don Giovanni was premiered in Prague on 29 October 1787. A scene from the opera features of the coin’s reverse, while a portrait of Mozart, painted by Barbara Krafft in 1819, 28 years after his untimely death at the age of 35, features on the coin’s obverse.
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