The Austrian Mint or “Münze Österreich“ in German is located in Vienna, Austria and strikes not only circulating Euro denominated coinage, but also acts as a contract mint for foreign countries. It is a recognized world leader in the design and production of proof, Commemorative, and bullion coinage.
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The Austrian Mint has roots going back to the year 1194 A.D. surrounding a dispute between Austrian Duke Leopold V and British King Richard I (also know as “Richard the Lionhearted”). While traveling back to Britain on his return from the crusades Richard was captured and held for ransom by Leopold. In order to be released Richard paid a ransom of 12 tons of silver. Leopold ended up striking silver coins from the ransom and started the minting of circulating coin in Vienna. The name “Vienna Mint” does not appear in the historical record until 200 years later.
Over the last 800 years the Austrian Mint has been an innovator in coin production. They originally struck coins using a hammer, and then as technology advanced used roller presses, rocker presses, and the screw press. The mint has used ring or collar striking since 1830. The essence of this process has not changed since that time. With current technology, the Austrian Mint can strike 750 coins per minute.
The Vienna Mint has an extraordinary artistic heritage and tradition with their prestigious engraving academy having been established in 1733. The Austrian Mint is proud not only of the loyalty of its long-serving staff, but also for the high quality and craftsmanship of the coins that they produce. These beloved and timeless coins are struck in the heart of Vienna and are both sought after and cherished by collectors and history buffs all over the world.
The Vienna Philharmonic coins are struck in gold, silver, and platinum. The obverse image used on the series features the massive pipe organ in the Golden Hall at the Vienna Musikverein. The reverse image used on the series features a range of orchestral music instruments, including a harp, bassoon and the fabled Vienna horn above and a cello surrounded by four violins. The design was brought to fruition by chief engraver Thomas Pesendorfer.
The one ounce Silver philharmonic is Europe’s best-selling silver coin. The Gold philharmonic is struck in a variety of sizes ranging from 1/25 oz to 1 oz. The Platinum Philharmonic is struck in two sizes: 1/25 oz. and 1 oz.
The Maria Theresa Thaler or Taler is one of the Austrian Mint’s enduring classics. It is one of the most widely recognized silver crown-sized coins in the world. It has been continuously re-struck as currency and for collectors since 1857.
The obverse of the coin features the portrait of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The reverse shows the imperial crown flanked by a pair of eagle heads above a shield covered in different coats of arms. The Maria Theresa thaler ceased to be a legal tender coin in Austria in 1858, it was the favored form of currency in many African countries up to and during World War II.