Why Buy Silver
Buying gold and silver from USA Mint is a simple and straight forward process
When starting on the path of collecting, there is one precious metal that is very attractive, has historically been in demand and is relatively affordable. That metal is silver. Silver, like gold, has historically maintained its value for decades, if not hundreds of years. Several ways to begin purchasing silver is to buy coins, rounds, and bars. Some of the more popular silver coins available for purchase include the Silver American Eagle and the Silver Canadian Maple Leaf. In terms of attractive rounds (coinage produced by mints that have no face value but regularly contain pure silver), Buffalo Silver Rounds are popular, pure silver bullion that is often sold closer to spot price per ounce but have no face value. Silver bars, like silver rounds, have no face value but are still produced with pure silver. The Walking Liberty Silver Bar by the Highland Mint is a good choice for those looking to diversify their silver holdings with bars.
History of Silver
The mining of silver was banned in 3,000 BC in what was once modern day Turkey. Tons of silver was used as valuable ornaments, jewelry, and eating utensils, as a matter of fact. It was part due to silver’s duct ability and natural antibacterial properties.
Silver was first used for coins by the Lydians around 600 B.C. Since silver is considered less valuable than gold, silver was used to make coins of a lower denomination that could be used to pay for everyday transactions. Because of this, silver is the most widely used material for coin-making ever.
While silver is rarely used for currency today, silver coins are still created as collectors’ items and investment pieces. Mints all over the world use fine silver to create highly valuable coins that are considered works of art and important investment pieces.
Throughout history, gold and silver have been the foundation for currency the world over. With time however, many countries experienced practical difficulties maintaining the concurrent circulation of both metals. One by one, nations began to adapt systems that favored gold as the basic unit of exchange. In the 20th century, both metals lost their former importance within monetary systems, and even the gold standard was abandoned. Nevertheless, silver is still actively traded in world commodity markets where its price fluctuates daily.
Types of Silver to Buy
Silver Bullion Coins
In most families, coin value will increase with time. Silver coins are collectible investments due to their scarcity, design, and demand. Every year, new coins are minted and many are never produced ever again. So, they become increasingly popular with time as demand for them increases.
Silver bullion coins can be purchased in a variety of sizes. The smallest possible size is 1/25 ounces and the largest size is 1 kilogram. You can find sizes that cover every possible size in between.
The most commonly purchased size is a 1 oz silver coin, which collectors and investors purchase more than any other size. Silver coins are a highly traded commodity and have always been which means that the value of all silver coins will continue to grow with time.
Silver Bullion Bars
Buying silver bars is one of the easiest, safest, and most cost-effective ways to purchase physical silver. Silver bars will match coins in terms of purity and content but will cost less over the spot price for silver coins because of the way they are produced. You want to focus on getting your premium as low as possible to potentially increase the return you can get on the investment when you liquidate.
Silver bullion bars are often cast which means the silver is turned into a liquid and poured into a physical cast in order to set whereas silver coins are minted. This means they have to be struck with a machine to mint after casting.
For that reason, the cost of silver bars compared to silver coins of the same purity levels and size is going to be cheaper. Silver coins have unique value and unique designs that are not offered with bars.
Silver Bullion Rounds
Collectors who are focused more on the stable purchasing power should consider silver bullion rounds. These are circular discs without a face value and are not legal tender.
You can pick many sizes when you purchase silver bullion rounds ranging between 1 gram and 12 oz and every size in between. The most commonly traded sizes though are 1 oz or less. Silver bullion rounds are minted to the same standards as silver coins which means they will have the same mirrored finish, clean striking, and detailed design. We offer a wide range of silver products including bullion coins, rounds, and bars that come from respected mints all over the world.
Whatever you decide, we can help you go over the wide list of products we offer, find the perfect silver solution for your needs, and prepare to make an informed purchase.
Available predominantly from sovereign mints around the globe, with a notable exception being the state-owned Perth Mint of Australia, silver coins hold legal tender status, are assigned a face value in national currencies, and have government-backed purity and weight. Silver coins are struck in bullion and proof versions by sovereign mints, with designs that are as iconic as it gets. Some of the most important coins in the market right now.
Examples include the following coin programs, which are made available each year from their respective mints:
- American Silver Eagle: There is no coin as popular or widely purchased than the American Silver Eagle. Launched in 1986 by the United States Mint, it is the official silver bullion coin of America and features the iconic Walking Liberty design on its obverse face as created in 1916 by Adolph A. Weinman. The highest mintage year for the Silver Eagle was in 2015 when it hit 47 million coins sold in one year!
- Canadian Silver Maple Leaf: The official silver bullion of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint set an impressive standard when it introduced the Silver Maple Leaf in 1988. Though it debuted after the American Eagle and Chinese Panda coins, it was the first and remains one of the few to use .9999 pure silver content. You’ll also find greater variety in the Silver Maple Leaf Series, with privy-mark coins available and unique series such as the Wild Canada collection.
- Australian Silver Bullion: The Royal Australian Mint might be the nation’s official sovereign mint, but the Perth Mint is its oldest. Perth Mint coins enjoy legal tender status through the Currency Act of 1965, and the facility is owned by the state government of Western Australia. Available coins in the collection include Lunar Series II coins, Silver Koalas, Silver Kookaburras, and Silver Kangaroos to mention a few.
- British Silver Bullion: The Royal Mint of England produces some extremely popular silver coins right now. The Silver Britannia is the nation’s official bullion coin and was introduced in 1998 with the iconic image of Britannia. A national symbol in Britain, Britannia watches over the island nation’s shores to defend against invaders. The newer Silver Queen’s Beast collection features the nation’s first-ever 2 oz silver bullion in a 10-design series.
- Mexican Silver Libertad: Mexico’s official silver bullion issue, the Silver Libertad coin has a design taken from Mexican history that dates back two centuries. First used during Mexico’s revolution against Spain in the 1820s, Winged Victory appeared on Mexican coinage first in the gold Centenario. Today, she is the leading lady in the design of the Mexican Silver Libertad bullion coins from the Mexican Mint.
Mints Behind Silver Bullion
Silver coins are largely the result of work at sovereign mints around the world, as well as the state-owned Perth Mint in Australia. Below is a brief rundown of the private mints and refineries popular in the USA Mint catalog:
- PAMP Suisse
- Sunshine Minting
- Valcambi Suisse
If you’re shopping for silver coins such as the American Silver Eagle, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, or British Silver Britannia, you’ll be purchasing coins that originated from sovereign mints around the globe.
These include the following primary facilities that churn out the vast majority of silver coins:
- United States Mint
- Royal Canadian Mint
- The Royal Mint
- Perth Mint
- Mexican Mint
Feel free to navigate through the links within this page to get to product pages for specific items, or scroll at your own leisure by clicking through the product categories. Whatever you choose from USA Mint, you are guaranteed to receive high-quality silver bullion.
American Silver Eagle History
The first American Silver Eagle coins from the United States Mint were issued with 1986 date marks on the obverse side of the coin. The Silver Eagle program consists only of a 1 Troy oz silver coin with .999 purity and a face value of $1 (USD) backed by the federal government. The US Mint uses images of Lady Liberty and the American bald eagle on the obverse and reverse sides of the coin, respectively. The designs never change and the only variation in the coins is the use of a mint mark on the reverse side of the proof coins.
American Silver Eagle coins consist of uncirculated, proof, and burnished options. The uncirculated, or bullion, coin has been available every year since 1986. The proof Silver Eagle was also issued immediately in 1986 with the uncirculated coin. The proof coin did have a production interruption in 2009 as the US Mint was forced to suspend collectible coinage production to redirect all silver blanks to the uncirculated program to meet the intense demand for silver at the time. Burnished coins were introduced as a second collectible option in 2006 on the 20th anniversary of the coin program. The burnished coin was suspended in both 2009 and 2010, but has since entered back into production.
American Silver Eagle Design
On the obverse side of the coins, you will find Adolph A. Weinman’s historical depiction of Lady Liberty. Created in 1916 for use on the nation’s half-dollar coin, this vision of Liberty depicts her figure in left-profile relief as she walks toward the setting sun on the horizon. She carries the oak and laurel branches in her left arm, holds her right hand outstretched toward the horizon, and wears the American flag over her shoulders. “Liberty” is engraved above her head, with the date mark at her feet. At her heels is the national motto of “In God We Trust.”
On the reverse side of all Silver Eagle coins is the image of the heraldic eagle of the United States. Some versions of this design have been used on American coinage since the very first coins were struck by the original Philadelphia Mint in 1794. This particular design is a modern, powerful depiction of the bald eagle with its wings spread wide and the national shield on its chest. The bird clutches the arrows of war in one talon and the olive branch of peace in the other. In its beak is a ribbon with the phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” and above its head is a cluster of 13 stars arranged in a triangle. Each of the stars represents one of the original 13 colonies in America. Engravings on this side include “United States of America” and “1 oz Fine Silver One Dollar.” For the proof and burnished versions of the coin, you’ll also find a mint mark on this side of the coin. There is no mint mark for bullion coinage.
Since 2001, Silver Eagles have been struck by the West Point Mint and feature a “W” mint mark on this side. The burnished coin has only ever been struck by the West Point Mint and always features the “W” mint mark. However, Proof Silver Eagles have been struck by two other mints. From 1986 to 1992, the Proof Silver Eagle was issued with an “S” mint mark from the San Francisco Mint. From 1993 to 2000, the Proof Silver Eagle was issued by the Philadelphia Mint with a “P” mint mark.
American Silver Eagle Coin Mintage
The United States Mint has different mintage approaches for the uncirculated, proof, and burnished versions of the coin. Under the guidelines of the Liberty Coin Act of 1985, the US Mint is legally obligated to meet the demand for the uncirculated version of the coin. The bullion American Silver Eagle’s mintage figure is determined entirely by demand for the investment grade coin. The highest mintage figures in the program through its first 20 years came largely from the first two years of availability, but the Great Recession sent the American Silver Eagle soaring higher. The coins peaked in 2015 when 47 million Silver Eagles were issued in a single year.
For the proof and burnished versions of the coin, mintage figures are different. The Proof Silver Eagle originally had mintage caps at times, though it rarely achieved a full sell out in a given year. Eventually, the US Mint abandoned the mintage caps and simply struck the coins to meet the demand from collectors. With that said though, the Proof Silver Eagle has never reached the heights of the uncirculated version of the coin. The highest mintage figure for the Proof American Silver Eagle remains the 1.4 million sold in 1986 when the coin debuted.
As for the burnished version of the American Silver Eagle, it regularly has the lowest mintage figures in the collection. The United States Mint doesn’t artificially hold down the mintage, but merely strikes the coin to meet the demand from the collector niche interested in the Burnished Silver Eagle. The burnished coin was popular at first, hitting 612,000 in its second year of availability in 2007. Since its two-year suspension though in 2009-2010, it has not surpassed its highs from 2006-2008.
Difference Between Proof and Burnished Coins
The uncirculated coin is an investment-grade coin with a slight shine to the finish of the coins, but it otherwise possesses no remarkable visual brilliance. The proof and burnished coins are both collectible options that do have visual brilliance, but they are produced differently and have slightly different visual aspects. The proof coin has frosted, matte elements on the images of Walking Liberty on the obverse and the heraldic eagle on the reverse. The background of the proof coins is mirrored and clear in appearance.
The burnished coins have a slightly different appearance. The coins are first rolled in a drum with a polishing material that burnishes the coin, adding a distinct visual brilliance that is somewhere between that of the bullion coin and the proof coin. Each burnished coin is carefully handled by employees wearing gloves. Each blank is removed from the drum by a gloved hand, individually loaded into the coining press and struck, and then individually removed and packaged immediately to prevent any chance of human skin oils or other elements tarnishing the visual appeal.
Mexican Silver Libertad
The Mexican Silver Libertad is one of the world’s major silver bullion coins for sale. Available from the Mexican Mint, the Silver Libertad coin was introduced in 1982 and includes a total of three different versions. The mint has long offered the bullion coin and proof version dating back to the 1980s. In the early 2000s, the Mexican Mint introduced a proof-like version of the Silver Libertad available only in a 1 Kilogram weight. Learn about the varieties, design, and availability of the Mexican Silver Libertad below
Background of the Mexican Silver Libertad Coin
The Mexican Silver Libertad bullion coins hold the distinction of being the first-ever silver bullion coin introduced for investors. The South African Gold Krugerrand was the first popular bullion coin, introduced in 1967. This was followed by the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf in 1979, but the Mexican Silver Libertad became the first annual-issue silver bullion coin when it was released in 1982.
Originally, the Mexican Mint offered the bullion Silver Libertad in just the 1 oz silver weight. From 1982 to 1991, the Silver Libertad was available only in this singular weight. In 1992, the Mexican Mint introduced the 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz coins to the series. After just four years, the Mexican Mint again expanded the series to include a 2 oz and 5 oz silver coin for the 1996 issue year. The latest addition to the bullion coins came in 2008 when the 1 Kilogram coin was introduced.
With a few notable exceptions, the Mexican Mint has issued each of these weights in every year since their individual introductions. Those exceptions include the 2012 1/20 oz Silver Libertad, which was not offered, as well as the 2013 and 2014 1 Kilogram Silver Libertads, which were also not struck by the mint.
Design of Mexican Silver Libertads
The design of the Mexican Silver Libertad coins, whether bullion or proof, has remained constant since 1982. The designs for the Silver Libertad Series are the same as the Gold Libertad coins, with both taking inspiration from the 1921 issue of the Gold Centenario coin from the Mexican Mint.
On the obverse side of the Mexican Silver Libertad coin, you’ll find a primary design in the foreground of Winged Victory. Based upon the Roman depictions of the goddess of victory, Winged Victory came to Mexican culture during the nation’s revolutionary war against Spain. Today, her figure stands as depicted on the obverse atop the Mexican Independence Victory Column in Mexico City. The column was erected in 1921 and depicts Victory holding a wreath high above in her right hand with broken chains in her left.
The background field of the Silver Libertad’s obverse includes the landscape of the Mexican countryside outside of Mexico City. Within some 40 miles in different directions are the volcanic peaks known as Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. This side of the coin also includes engravings in Spanish of the weight, metal content, purity, and year of issue, along with the Mexican Mint’s “OM” mint mark.
On the reverse of all 1 oz and larger Silver Libertads, you’ll notice the modern coat of arms in the center. Surrounding it are 10 different historical versions of the same seal used throughout Mexican history. The fractional-weight Silver Libertads have room only for the modern seal.
Mexican Silver Libertad Packaging
All Proof Mexican Silver Libertad coins are individually housed within Mexican Mint display boxes or protective capsules when originally produced by the mint. The coins also come with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The bullion coins have a different packaging, which consists of the following options by weight:
- 1 Kilo – protective capsules
- 5 oz – protective packaging or mint tubes of 5 coins
- 2 oz – protective packaging or mint tubes of 20 coins
- 1 oz – protective packaging, plastic tubes of 25 coins, or sealed bank bags of 450 coins (18 tubes)
- 1/2 oz – individual protective packaging is most common
- 1/4 oz – individual protective packaging is most common
- 1/10 oz – individual protective packaging is most common
- 1/20 oz – individual protective packaging is most common
Silver Libertad Availability
Like many other bullion coins, the investment-grade Mexican Silver Libertad coins are struck to meet the demand of investors. The highest single-year mintage figure among the bullion Silver Libertads is 2.458 million for the 1992 1 oz Mexican Silver Libertad. The fractional weights were most popular when first introduced in 1992. In the 2010s, most of the fractional weights, 2 oz, and 5 oz silver coins have surpassed 10,000 coins in a given year.
The Proof Mexican Silver Libertads have much lower mintage figures, with the Mexican Mint often capping the mintage figure for each weight to ensure collectible value for the coins.
Canadian Silver Coins
The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the most highly respected, state-of-the-art facilities in the world. The official sovereign mint of Canada, RCM is best known for the production of the nation’s official bullion coins, the Canadian Maple Leaf. Available in gold, platinum, and palladium, the Canadian Maple Leaf silver coin is also available and is an extremely popular coin with investors around the globe. However, the Royal Canadian Mint boasts more than just the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf and its counterparts. With USA Mint, you can buy silver and learn more about popular Canadian silver coins.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coins
The Gold Maple Leaf debuted first in 1979; and though the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf was not one of the first silver bullion coins offered, it did mark a significant expansion of available silver coinage. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin debuted in 1988 and became the first-ever .9999 pure silver bullion coin available to investors. The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coinage features 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver with a face value of $5 (CAD) backed by Canada’s government.
The designs on the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf include:
- Obverse features the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy is updated on occasion to reflect her age, with most Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins featuring either Dora de Pedery-Hunt’s third-generation portrait of the Queen (1990-2002) or the fourth-generation image of Queen Elizabeth II created by Susanna Blunt (2003-present).
- Reverse includes the famed sugar maple leaf design created in 1979 by Walter Ott. This design features on the reverse of all Canadian Maple Leaf coins, with the silver coin bearing engravings of “Canada,” “9999,” “1 oz Fine Silver Argent Pur.”
Buying the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coin
Beginning in 2015, the Royal Canadian Mint undertook an extensive program to add security features to its coins, and the first to receive these new anti-counterfeiting measures was the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. The first addition was the use of laser-etched radial lines on the reverse and obverse sides of the coin. Depending upon the design of the Canadian silver coin in question, the radial lines on the reverse covered either the entire background or only a portion along the outer rim. The goal of the radial lines is to deflect light in different directions, making it more difficult to create counterfeits.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s MINTSHIELD technology debuted in 2018 to solve the problem of milky spots, or white spots, on silver coinage. MINTSHIELD was developed through extensive testing to help maintain the beauty of silver coins for a longer period of time and avoid a common issue that can occur with silver during the coining process. The MINTSHIELD technology consists of an application which is invisible to the naked eye, and which protects the intrinsic value of silver coins within detracting from the metal content or purity in any way. The 2018 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins were the very first to receive the new MINTSHIELD application.
British Silver Coins for Investment
Silver is one of the leading precious metals at the moment, and the demand for silver coins from sovereign mint programs and a select few private mints has at times threatened to put all coin programs on halt due to silver shortages. USA Mint is proud to carry some of the world’s most well-known, and up-and-coming, silver bullion coin programs, including the various Royal Mint silver options from the United Kingdom.
History of the Royal Mint
Today, the Royal Mint remains one of the foremost facilities in the world. The most popular product from the mint is the sovereign Britannia coin. On the reverse face of each coin is the image of the mythical Britannia, a goddess from Roman times who was believed to have watched over the nation. She is featured on each Silver Britannia coin with a trident in one hand and a shield bearing the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom, her eyes constantly fixed on the English Channel separating the British Isles from mainland Europe.
Originally founded as the London Mint in 886, the British Royal Mint is one of the oldest operating facilities in the world. Throughout its history, the Royal Mint has produced some of the most widely used coins in the world, due in large part to the size and scope of the former British Empire. Coins from the Royal Mint were once used from North America to Europe, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
British Silver Britannia Coin Series
The modern-day official bullion coin of Britain, these coins feature an image of the Roman deity Britannia, who served as a protector for the British Isles. Introduced in 1997, these coins were originally available with .958 fine silver but are now produced in .999 pure silver.
The 2017 release of these silver coins marks the milestone 20th anniversary for the silver version of Britain’s official bullion coin, and the modern highlights of these coins include:
- Arrives in a protective plastic capsule, mint tube of 25 coins, or Monster Box of 500 coins.
- Contains 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver in BU condition.
- Bears a face value of 2 (GBP) backed by the British government.
British Silver Britannia coins have had the same design concepts on the obverse and reverse faces of the coin since their introduction in 1997. The only changes ever to come to the program occurred recently with the introduction of an updated portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the coin’s obverse side. Further details include:
- On the obverse of all British Silver Britannia Coins you’ll find the newest portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy is updated on occasion to reflect her current age on the throne. A new design debuted on 2016 issue Royal Mint coins from Jody Clark, marking the fifth generation depiction of the Queen.
- The reverse of the British Silver Britannia includes the image of the goddess Britannia, famed guardian of Britain. She is depicted standing along the island’s southern coast, looking out across the English Channel with her trident (to control the seas) as she holds a shield in her other hand to guard the nation that bears the Union Jack insignia.
In addition to the regular-issue Silver Britannia coins, there is Royal Mint silver bullion available with unique designs from this same collection. For example, the Silver Britannia is available in a gilded and colorized version, as well.
Each British Silver Britannia Coin with a gilded finish has a beautiful, 24-karat gold layering applied to the image of Britannia. This is applied only to the reverse side of the coin, where you’ll find Britannia’s figure holding a shield with the Union Jack flag on it to guard the seas and a trident in her right hand to ward off invaders.
The obverse of these British Silver Britannia Coin includes the latest effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty has featured on the obverse of British coinage since her ascension to the throne in 1952, and this is the latest update to her portrait. Created in 2015 by Jody Clark, it now appears on all British currency. No gilded finish is applied to Her Majesty’s effigy.
All British Silver Britannia gilded coins in this offering are in BU condition. Coins in this condition exhibit no signs of wear and tear, though you may notice a range of minor flaws including breaks in the luster, spotted surfaces, or contact marks from the coining process.
The Colorized British Silver Britannia coin has magnificent full color finishes added to the reverse design of the coin. Britannia herself remains clad in a brilliant silver robe, while the red, white, and blue colors of the Union Jack flag on her shield have been brought to life.
Her Corinthian helmet has a beautiful gold color while her brown locks of hair blow in the breeze against a backdrop of blue. British Silver Britannia coins honor the historical belief in Britannia, a goddess who protected the British Isles from all invaders.
On the reverse of Colorized British Silver Britannia coins you’ll find that magnificent image of Britannia, with all the colorized features mentioned above included in this iconic image of British culture. The obverse image of Her Majesty remains, with no colorization added to her depiction.
All colorized and gilded Silver Britannia coins are originally produced by the Royal Mint. These limited-edition coins, 5,000 in total, are available courtesy of Emporium Hamburg. The third-party authorized dealer in Germany added the colorized and gilded applications to the coins’ reverse fields.
Australia’s Perth Mint Silver Coins
The Perth Mint of Australia is one of the world’s most-respected minting facilities. In particular, its gold and silver coins are renowned among investors and collectors for the purity of the product and the beauty of the designs. Silver bullion investors are familiar with the mint’s many annual-release coin programs, and collectors will find that Perth often issues a variety of limited-run coin programs that deliver the same purity and beauty as their bullion counterparts.
Annual Issue of Australian Silver Bullion
The Perth Mint is among mints such as the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, and Royal Mint of England to offer popular silver bullion coins on an annual basis. While Perth’s coins enjoy similar demand from around the globe as products from its counterparts, none of these other mints can touch the variety and diversity of Perth Mint’s annual-issue silver bullion coins. The following list is a comprehensive look at Perth’s popular silver programs:
- Australian Silver Kookaburra: Introduced in 1990, the Silver Kookaburra is the longest-running silver coin from the Perth Mint and is available annually with a 1 oz silver coin guaranteed each year. The Silver Kookaburra’s reverse depicts the largest member of the kingfisher species in a new relief each year.
- Australian Silver Koala: After more than two decades, Perth Mint expanded its silver bullion with the Silver Koala. The lovable marsupial is associated by people around the globe with Australia, and since 2007 it has featured in new designs each year on the reverse of Silver Koala coins.
- Australian Silver Kangaroo: The Silver Kangaroo is the latest major addition to the bullion coinage. Available in 1 oz silver, it depicts the kangaroo on the reverse in a popular design each year. The Silver Kangaroo’s 2016 debut was significant as it became the first Perth Mint silver bullion offering with .9999 pure silver content.
About the Perth Mint Silver Coin
Founded in 1899, Perth Mint was originally intended to be a piece of the Royal Mint system on the Australian continent. The role of the Perth Mint when it opened was to supplement the coining of British coinage in the colony by expanding the capacity already available from the Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint.
As Australia moved through the federation process in the 1900s, the Perth Mint would emerge as the last mint standing from the Royal Mint days. By 1965, the Sydney Mint was closed and the Melbourne Mint was on the way out as the new Royal Australian Mint took shape. The official sovereign mint of Australia, the Royal Australian Mint took over the production of coinage and printing of paper money for the nation. The Perth Mint was eventually transferred from British control to that of the government of Western Australia. Today it operates independently of the Royal Australian Mint, but still enjoys legal tender status for its bullion coinage.
The Austrian Silver Philharmonic Coin
Arguably Europe’s most popular silver bullion coins, and one of the best-sellers in the world, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic is part of a robust series of bullion coins from the Austrian Mint. The official bullion coins of the nation, the Austrian Philharmonic series includes three precious metal options and comes with unique variations in the silver bullion issue each year. Learn more about these beautiful coins below.
Austrian Philharmonic Coin Background
The Austrian Silver Philharmonic coin debuted in 2008 as the second option in the long-running Austrian Philharmonic collection. The Gold Philharmonic is the lead coin in the series and was the original offering when the collection debuted in 1989. Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint, Thomas Pesendorfer, developed the designs used on both the obverse and reverse of the Austrian Philharmonic coins in 1989. The same designs are not only used on the obverse and reverse each year, but also across the Silver Philharmonic and Platinum Philharmonic coins as well.
While the Gold Philharmonic features a 1 oz coin and various fractional-weight options, the Silver Philharmonic is like many other major silver bullion coins on the market. You’ll only find the Austrian Silver Philharmonic available in 1 oz silver.
Austrian Silver Philharmonic Design
Chief Engraver Thomas Pesendorfer used the cultural icon of Austria that is the Vienna Philharmonic as the inspiration for the design of the nation’s official bullion coin series. The Vienna Philharmonic is based at the Musikverein in Vienna and its members are chosen from the Vienna State Opera to perform in the orchestra. The selection process is a lengthy one and requires demonstration of musical capabilities over a minimum of three years’ performance with the opera and ballet. Though the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was formally founded in 1842, operatic performances were taking place in Vienna on a random basis as early as the first years of the 1830s.
The obverse side of all Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins includes the image of the pipe organ located within the Musikverein. Also known as the Golden Concert Hall, this is the home theater for the Vienna Philharmonic when it performs and it is located in the Innere Stadt borough of Vienna, the national capital of Austria.
On the reverse of the coins is the image of various musical instruments used by members of the Vienna Philharmonic. Included in the design is a cello in the center, which is flanked on either side by two violins (totaling 4 in all). Behind it are images of the harp, flute, bassoon, and French horn.
Both sides of the coni have engravings in German, which is the official language of the nation of Austria. These engravings read “Wiener Philharmoniker” on the reverse, which translates easily as “Vienne Philharmonic.” On the obverse are engravings of “Republik Osterreich” and “1 Unze Feinsilber.” These translate as “Republic of Austria” and “1 Ounce Fine Silver.” The coin’s year of issue and face value in Euros (€1.50) are also found on this side. All Austrian Silver Philharmonic coins contain 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver.
Silver Philharmonic Mintage and Availability
The Austrian Mint does not always publish annual mintage figures for its Austrian Silver Philharmonic program, but many of the available years do have mintage figures available for investors to look back on.
The coins were met with immediate popularity when released in 2008, with the following mintage figures for each year from 2008 to 2016:
- 2008 – 7.773 million
- 2009 – 9.014 million
- 2010 – 11.358 million
- 2012 – 8.769 million
- 2013 – 14.53 million
- 2014 – 4.643 million
- 2015 – 7.29 million
- 2016 – 3.44 million
The Silver Philharmonic coins are the highest minted and most well-known silver bullion coins on the European continent. During the five-year span of 2008 to 2012, the Austrian Silver Philharmonic sold a total of 54 million coins.