Gold Philharmonic coins were introduced to the world in 1989, when the Austrian Mint struck their first few coins. It was first offered on October 10th, 1989 in a 1 oz. and 1/4 oz. size, but the series was expanded in 1991 with a 1/10 oz. coin and again in 1994 with a 1/2 oz. coin. In an unexpected twist, the denomination of this bullion coin was switched in the middle of its run. While it started out with face values in Shillings, in 2002 the coin began to be issues in Euros. This was a much delayed change from when the nation joined the EU back in 1995, and it coincided with Austria’s adoption of the Euro as their new currency.
Unlike many gold bullion coin series, this coin is, besides a limited edition set in 2014, only produced with a business strike. The coin comes from the Mint in monster boxes of 25 tubes. Each of these tubes hold 20 raw coins.
This gold bullion coin has an excellent reception among collectors. In 1990, the second year of its production, it was the second best-selling gold bullion coin in the world, and the best in Europe. In 1992, 1995, 1996, and 2000 it was declared to be the best-selling gold coin in the world by the World Gold Council.
The obverse of these gold bullion coins show the pipe organ located in the Musikverein, the concert hall the Vienna Philharmonic perform at. It was designed by Thomas Pesendorfer back in 1989. The inscriptions say "REPUBLIK OSTERREICH," as well as weight, composition, year of issue, and denomination.
The Reverse Design was also designed by Thomas Pesendorfer. It depicts the instruments used by the Vienna Philharmonic, arrayed around a Cello in the center. The inscription "WIENER PHILHARMONIKER" is on the top of the reverse.