2017 marks the 175th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who gave their first performance on March 28, 1842. In order to commemorate this achievement the Austrian Mint is releasing a special silver commemorative coin.
Joining the now growing chorus of world mints to begin their issuing plans for the new year is the Austrian Mint, issuing this commemorative collectors coin for 2017. The 175th Anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra silver 20 Euro coin joins the similarly themed Waltzing in the New Year 5 Euro coin. The latter of which also commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Blue Danube by Johann Strauss, which was first performed publicly in 1867.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is considered to have been founded by Otto Nicolai(a composer and conductor), August Schmidt(a newspaper editor) and Alfred Julius Becher(a critic) in 1842. Since then the orchestra has become renowned around the world for it's technical brilliance and is consistently ranked as one of the top five orchestras in the world.
The obverse of the coin depicts the individual three quarter busts of the three founding fathers of the orchestra in the foreground. The background of the coin is occupied by extracts from the original deed of incorporation of the orchestra, which was founded on principles of democracy and entrepreneurial initiative. The dates of “1842” and “2017” appear in two horizontal lines at the bottom, with the legend of “20EURO” and “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH”(Republic of Austria) in reverse proof to the top left along the rim. Finally the emblem of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is emblazoned in gold gild to the bottom right of the coin. The gold emblem set against the brilliant silver proof coin makes quite an impactful statement.
The reverse of the coin in turn showcases details taken from a section of Max Oppenheimer’s massive triptych “Die Philharmoniker”, which is currently displayed in the Belvedere museum in Vienna. The detail is from the violin section with the reverse legend appearing along the bottom left rim. The inscription reads : “175 JAHRE WEINER PHILHATMONIKER” (175 Years Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra).
The coin is only available in a silver proof finis, with a total mintage of 30 000 coins. The 34mm(1.3385 inch) coin is struck from sterling silver(.925 Fineness) for a total weight of 22.42 gram or 0.791oz(20.74 gram Fine weight).
The coin is shipped in the standard Austrian mint red presentation box, for €59.40(US$63.50). There is also a special edition duet set which contains the 175th Anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra silver proof coin as well as a special silver Vienna Philharmonic silver bullion coin in a single elegant black case. This special set is being made available for €86.40(US$92.50) per set. The coins are available to order directly from the Austrian Mint's website, or alternatively you can get hold of it through your trusted international coin dealer.
As we have come to expect, the Austrian Mint has done a fantastic job. Their coins are always of the highest design standards, and this silver commemorative is no exception to that.