One coin that has been on my wish list for some time is the first release within the Austrian Mint’s gold coin series “Klimt and His Women”.
The series celebrates the 150th anniversary of artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and will include five coins released over the course of five years. Each coin depicts a different woman from a painting created during his “golden phase.” Further connecting the series, each design incorporates one of the letters K, L, I, M, and T so that the complete series will spell “KLIMT”.
The first coin in the series features a portion of the 1907 painting Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I. The painting was commissioned by Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, composed of oil and gold on canvas, and took three years to complete. It sold for $135 million in June of 2006, briefly making it the world’s most expensive painting. The execution of the masterpiece as coin design looks exquisitely beautiful.
The obverse of the coin features a portrait of Klimt based on a photograph by Moritz Naehr circa 1917-1918 with Klimt’s signature in the bottom left corner. Inscriptions “Republik Oesterreich”, “50 Euro”, and the date “2012” appear surrounding.
Each coin is struck in .986 gold to proof quality. The diameter is 22.00 mm with a weight of 10.14 grams. There is a maximum mintage of 30,000 pieces. Sales originally began on January 25, 2012.
The price indicated on the Austrian Mint’s product page is 505 Euros, which currently works out to $646.50. The value of the 10 grams (0.3215 troy ounces) of net gold content is currently $556. The Austrian Mint calls the coin “A Klimt you can afford”, and the price is certainly reasonable compared to intrinsic value.
Designs for the remaining four coins in the series feature the works of Klimt indicated below:
- Obverse: The Tee of Life
- Reverse: The Expectation
- Obverse: Nuda Veritas
- Reverse: Judith II
- Obverse: Jurisprudence
- Reverse: Medicine
- Obverse: The Kiss
- Reverse: Emilie Flöge
The Austrian Mint also offers a collector case including two velvet lined wooden boxes to store the coins and paperwork. An outer slipcase is illustrated with Klimt’s The Kiss.