The VPO Gold Coin
The Vienna Philharmonic gold coin illustrates the influence these orchestras can have. The coin was first minted by the Austrian national Bank in 1990. It features the Vienna Philharmonic on its face, and is called the “Philharmoniker.” In just six years it captured 46% of the world market, and has become the world’s best selling gold coin. 106.5 tones of pure gold have been used to mint “Philharmonikers.” This represents 5 million coins worth 1.1 billion dollars. In advertisements, the Austrian Mint notes that the success of this coin is legendary, and due largely to the reputation of the Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Years Concerts are viewed by 1 billion people worldwide. We gain a sense of the powerful effect these orchestras have on our society when we think of the billions of patrons, and the billions of dollars that surround them.