The Austrian Mint - coined freedom

The Austrian Mint - coined freedom © Own image

From the first Viennese mint in 1194 to the Austrian Mint

The roots of state coinage in Austria go back to the year 1194, the first documentary mention of the "Wiener Pfennige" then occurred in 1203. In 1397, the "Vienna Mint" is then also mentioned for the first time in a document. Today, the Austrian M int is the only official mint in Austria.

Built around the ransom of Richard the Lionheart

A few years earlier, German, English and French troops captured the city of Acre, a strategically important port city in the Gulf of Haifa, as part of the Third Crusade. The leader of the German troops, the Babenberg Leopold of Austria demanded the same rank and share of the booty as the leaders of the other troops, Philip II of France and the English Richard I "Lionheart", by whom he was brusquely and shamefully rejected.

In revenge for this snub, he had Richard the Lionheart imprisoned in an inn in Erdberg on his secret return journey to England, the route of which led through Carinthia, Styria and Vienna, and then sent him into captivity in Dürnstein Castle. For his release Leopold demanded 100,000 marks, which corresponded to a silver weight of 23.5 tons, which he also received and from which, among other things, he also founded the main mint in Vienna's Wollzeile.

Over the centuries, the Mint moved to Prince Eugene's winter quarters in Himmelpfortgasse until it moved to its present location on Heumarkt in the second half of the 19th century. In 1989, the old main mint got a new name and became the Austrian Mint AG - a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank with a stake in the Swiss LBMA-certified refiner Argor-Heraeus.

Production methods

In order to produce coins on a large scale, it was intended to use roller minting as a method of striking, but this was not initially successful in Vienna due to the lack of water power, but was done in Hall in Tyrol and other mints from 1554. From 1650 onwards, the pocket mechanism became established as a minting tool in Vienna. From around 1700, the screw press was used in Vienna for minting coins, which was distinguished by a more beautiful minting pattern and was not replaced by the more precise ring minting until 1830.

Famous products of the Austrian Mint

One of the first coins minted was the "Wiener Pfennig" mentioned above, which was produced with ever decreasing silver content until the 15th century.

From the 16th century, the gold ducat was also minted, which always showed the current regent on the obverse and the double-headed eagle on the reverse. From 1858, the gold ducat was no longer considered official currency, but was still minted as a bullion coin. Even today, the ducat is still minted, but since 1920 there have only been restrikes, all of which show the year of the last official minting in 1915.

1 Ducat Gold coin
1 Ducat gold Austria | Gold coin 261,20 

Probably the most famous silver coin in the world, the Maria Theresa Thaler made of 833‰ silver has also been issued by the Austrian Mint, or the former Vienna Main Mint Office, since 1741. Since Maria Theresa's death in 1780, the coin has appeared unchanged and has been minted more than 30 million times since then.

Since 1989, the Austrian Mint has also issued a 1-ounce gold coin, the "Vienna Philharmonic", which has become a heavyweight in the bullion market and is very popular with investors on the world market and especially in the North American and Asian regions. In the years following the initial issue, the Vienna Philharmonic became the world's most minted and best-selling coin several times. By 2015, the 1/1 ounce had been minted over 10 million times and is a true delight for any investor as an investment product with 999.9‰ fine gold content.

Wiener Philharmoniker EUR | 1 Unze | 2024 | Goldmünze 2.317,70 

Other items of the Austrian Mint internationally sought after by collectors are the collectible coins made of gold, silver and other metals, which enjoy great popularity due to their perfect minting quality. The Austrian Mint achieved a milestone in the history of minting with the bimetallic coin "Niobium", whose first issues achieved increases in value of over 2000%. In the more recent issues, they even went a step further and colored the niobium core of the coins even in two colors, which aroused special desires among collectors.

 

NIOB | 2023 | Global warming
NIOB | 2023 | Global warming 82,20 

The most recent throw of the traditional house are the 3 euro animal thaler coins with colored animal motifs that glow in the dark and are also intended to inspire young collectors for numismatics. However, these issues are usually sold out within a few days of the first issue and are then privately traded at ten times the issue price.

Austria mint gold bar

In addition to normal euro coins, bullion coins and collector coins, the Austrian Mint also issues minted and cast bars in gold. The bars are minted by order of the subsidiary Argor-Heraeus in Switzerland in sizes from 1g to 100g and cast from 250g to 1000g. All gold bars of the Austrian Mint are "Good Delivery" and thus meet the highest international standards and are accepted worldwide.

Gold Bar | Austrian Mint | 100 Gram
Austrian Mint | 100 Gram | Gold Bar 7.324,20 

Gold & Co is official partner

As an official partner of the Austrian Mint, you can buy and sell bullion coins, collector coins and gold bars of the Austrian Mint at Gold & Co. Just drop by one of our branches in Vienna or contact us directly!

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