On January 20, the Austrian Mint will release its 2016 Vienna Opera Ball silver coin, which is composed of 18 grams of .900 fine silver and has a mintage limited to 50,000 pieces. The coin is being issued to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Vienna Opera Ball’s return following a hiatus of 17 years that began with the start of World War II.
The obverse of the coin features a young man preparing to kiss the hand of a debutante in front of opera house. The lady carries pink flowers that serve as a colorful accent to the otherwise silver face of the coin. Inscribed within this design are REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH, WEINER OPERNBALL, 2016, and the coin’s denomination, 20 EURO.
The reverse design bears an illustration of couples arriving on the dance floor to open the ball with a ceremonial waltz. Many more onlookers can be seen around the floor and in the boxes overlooking the event. An Austrian Mint press release notes that, prior to its interruption with World War II, the ball had taken place annually since 1814, when it was first hosted by the Imperial Court of the Habsburg dynasty.
The cost of the issue has not yet been released, but as a point of comparison the Mint’s recent Mozart silver coin, which has the same weight, composition, and face value, retails for €49.50. As pictured above, the item comes housed in a box with an outer sleeve and a certificate of authenticity. More information is likely to become available shortly on the Austrian Mint’s Web site.