Like many other people around the world, Austrians give small gifts to their friends and family to wish them good luck in the New Year (Jahreswechsel). And each year the Austrian Mint produces a specially themed coin for the occassion. This year’s theme is the waltz, specifically The Blue Danube waltz, written by Austrian composer Johann Strauss, Jr. and first performed in 1867. Traditionally, The Blue Danube is the first song played on Austrian radio on January 1.
The coin is gently nine-sided, and comes in both .800 fine silver Special Uncirculated and copper Uncirculated versions.
The reverse, designed by Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint Thomas Pesendorfer, features a well-dressed man and woman dancing to music in waltz time (the first two bars of which are superimposed over the bottom of the entire design; can you tell what key it is in?). In the foreground and to the right of the couple is a medium close-up, left-side view of Johann Strauss playing the violin as portrayed by the famous golden statue that is part of the Johann Strauss Monument located in Vienna’s Stadtpark. The inscription 150 JAHRE DONAUWALZER (“150 Years of The Blue Danube Waltz”) runs clockwise along the left quadrant of the coin’s face. Below the inscription, in the dancing woman’s ball gown (which is spread out and extended in the air to represent the motion of twirling) is the year 2017.
The coin features the standard obverse for all Austrian 5-euro coins. Engraved by Helmut Andexlinger, nine shields (representing the nine federal provinces of the Republic of Austria) surround a large numeral “5” that sits at the center of the coin. The top of each shield is parallel to one of the sides of the nine-sided coin, and arcs that trace the curved sides of each shield interlock to form something like a nine-pointed sunburst. The inscription REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH encircles the majority of the coin while the word EURO is found anchored at the bottom. A stylish sans-serif font is used for the lettering.
The edges of both the silver and copper 2017 New Year coins are smooth.
Designer(s): The recently retired Thomas Pesendorfer was the Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint. His award-winning design for the Vienna Philharmonic bullion coin is known all over the world (View Designer’s Profile). Austrian Mint designer Helmut Andexlinger is one of the world’s leading coin designers. He has created a number of prize-winning coin designs (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|Mintage:||Silver: 50,000; Copper: 200,000|
|Alloy:||.800 Silver; Copper|
|Weight:||Silver: 10.00g; Copper: 8.90g|
|OBV Designer||Thomas Pesendorfer / Helmut Andexlinger|
|REV Designer||Thomas Pesendorfer / Helmut Andexlinger|
|Quality:||Special Uncirculated (Silver); Uncirculated (Copper)|
*The two bars of music at the bottom of the reverse are in the key of D Major, which, of course, is the key in which The Blue Danube is played.
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