Austria to Release 2016 New Year’s Coin Featuring Vienna Philharmonic

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On December 2, the Austrian Mint will release its annual New Year’s coin. This year, the design celebrates the New Year’s concert performed yearly by the Vienna Philharmonic.

The new nine-sided coin carries a denomination of 5 euros and is composed of .800 fine silver. It weighs 10 grams, measures 28.5 mm in diameter, and has a mintage limit of 50,000 pieces. Each coin costs €15.40.

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The reverse was designed and engraved by Herbert Waehner and features cellists and bassists performing before the silhouette of a conductor in action. The background is filled by a pipe organ decorated with flowers, as is customary for the annual New Year’s concert.

A press release notes that Mint engravers found this design difficult to execute; they struggled to include important details from the concert hall while keeping the image fairly simple. Waehner’s creative use of perspective solved this dilemma, allowing him to preserve disparate features–the hall, the musicians, the holiday decorations–of this dynamic scene. The empty outline of the conductor is especially apt since the Philharmonic invites a different conductor each year to front the orchestra for this occasion. Inscribed inside this silhouette is NEUJAHRS-KONZERT, German for “New Year’s concert.”

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The obverse was designed by Helmut Andexlinger. At the center of the coin is the number 5, indicating the five-euro denomination of the issue. Surrounding this feature are nine shields that represent the nine federal provinces of Austria. Inscribed along the rim of the design is REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH and EURO.

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This design is also available as a copper issue, which has a maximum mintage of 200,000 and is available for its face value of €5. The silver issues are produced to Special Uncirculated quality, while the copper issues are Uncirculated. For more information on the Austrian Mint’s 2015 New Year’s coin, please visit the Mint’s Web site.

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