VIENNA – Austrian gold coins featuring images of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra have logged record sales in Japan since Japanese maestro Seiji Ozawa conducted a New Year concert in Vienna on Jan. 2.
According to Austrian Mint officials, 60,000 ounces (about 1.86 tons) of the gold coins were sold in Japan from January to April, five times the volume registered in the same period last year and in excess of total overseas sales last year.
The gold coin series, first issued in 1989, is known formally as “Vienna Gold Coin Harmony,” with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as the central theme. Violins and other musical instruments are featured on the flip side of the coins.
Austrian Mint officials said they are pleased with the sales surge in Japan and said Ozawa’s New Year concert triggered the popularity of the coins.
Austria sold 20,000 ounces of the “Harmony” gold coins on the domestic market last year and 50,000 ounces overseas, 80 percent of this total in Japan alone, according to the Austrian Mint.
Four different “Harmony” coins are in circulation: 1 ounce, half ounce, one-quarter ounce and one-tenth of an ounce.
According to coin dealers, the 1-ounce gold coin fetches 46,600 yen in Japan at coin retailers.
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