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Monday, July 21, 2008

Austrian Mint

This write up of the Austrian Mint explains exactly who the Austrian Mint are and what they deal in. It is well worth reading about the Austrian Mint before you decide to buy any gold or silver coins from them.

As always, it is a wise and prudent move to do one’s own due diligence before buying gold from any gold dealer or gold mint.

Who are the Austrian Mint
The Austrian mint continues a tradition seeped in history from the twelfth century. The first mint in goes back to more than 800 years ago and was established at the Court of the Babenberg Dukes in Vienna in 1194 in order to coin silver for the ransom of the English King, Richard the Lionheart.

Many years before, Richard the Lionheart, and Duke Leopold V of Austria participated in a crusade where they broke into an argument. While Richard was on his way back home from the Holy Land, disguised as a pilgrim, he was recognized and captured in the Vienna district of Erdberg – not very far from the present–day Austrian Mint. The Babenberg Duke kept Richard the Lionhearted prisoner in the castle of Dürnstein at the Danube until the beginning of 1193 when he then handed over his hostage to Emperor Henry VI in exchange for the payment of a ransom of 100,000 Cologne marks silver, from which Leopold was supposed to receive half. The value of these 100,000 Cologne marks is estimated today to equal the value of over 2 billion Euro, which would make this the biggest ransom demand and payment in history. A part of this enormous treasure had to go under the striking hammer – and for this purpose the first Vienna mint was began.

The Austrian Mint was made a subsidiary of the Austrian National Bank in 1989 as the Austrian Mint AG.

The Mints website has been online since Dec 1998. However you cannot buy online the Vienna Philharmonic, gold bars or trade gold coins (Ducats, Crowns, Gulden).

Investment gold which is sold on the basis of the daily gold price can be bought at all Austrian banks as well as at coin dealers and the Austrian Mint shops.

Kurt Meyer is the President and Master of the Austrian Mint. Born 1948 in Bavaria, Germany, Meyer graduated from university with a degree in engineering. He first came to the Austrian Mint in 1988 as an advisor participating in its privatisation and restructuring. In 1992 he was appointed a Member of the Executive Board and held the position of Deputy CEO since 2003.

The Austrian Mint Shops

You can buy coins, medals and other Austrian Mint products through the online shop and also in the Austrian Mint shops in Vienna and Innsbruck. The current address is Am Heumarkt 1 A 1030 Wien Österreich

The Austrian Mint Shop in Vienna is open Monday to Friday 9:00-16:00, Wednesday 9:00 -18:00 where you can also visit some interesting exhibitions also. The entrance is free and the exhibitions are a good opportunity to get some background and historical information on the subjects of current coin issues.

Austrian Mint Products
There are a great variety of gold and silver bullion coins produced by the Austrian Mint with the Vienna Philharmonic coin being one of the most well known of the world gold coins.

The Vienna Philharmonic is struck in pure gold, 999.9 fine (24 carats). It is issued every year, in four different face values, sizes and weights. It is often used as an investment product (gold bullion coin), although it usually ends up in the hands of collectors. According to the World Gold Council, the Vienna Philharmonic was the best selling gold coin in 1992, 1995 and 1996 worldwide.

The great organ in the Golden Hall in Vienna's concert hall (Musikverein) is the subject of the obverse of this popular coin. This is the hall of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The face value in euros, the weight, fineness and year of issue are also inscribed on this side of the coin.

Since February 1, 2008, the coin has also been minted in silver. The design of the silver coin being identical to that of the gold on both sides, except for its face value of 1.50 euro.

Euro gold and silver commemorative coins are special euro coins minted and issued by the various member states of the Eurozone, usually in gold and silver, although other precious metals are sometimes used in rare occasions. According to the Austrian Mint, Austria was one of the first twelve countries in the Eurozone that introduced the euro (€) in 1 January 2002. Since then, the Austrian Mint have been minting both normal issues of Austrian euro coins, which are intended for circulation, and commemorative euro coins in gold and silver.

These particular coins, however, are legal tender in Austria only, unlike the normal issues of the Austrian euro coins, which are legal tender in every country of the Eurozone.

The coins usually commemorate the anniversaries of historical events or draw attention to current events of special importance. Austria mints more than ten of these coins on average per year, in gold, silver and niobium, with face value ranging from 1.25 to 100 euros.

A beautiful design of musical instruments representing the world famous Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra can be seen on the reverse side of the coin.

Austrian Mint Payment Options
In order to buy coins online you will need to register and get a customer number. You can use Diners/MasterCard/Euro Card/Visa or be invoiced for your purchase and prepay.

Orders from the Austrian Mint are shipped in exchange for prepayment by the customer. All payments to Münze Österreich AG must be in Euros. Any contrary
agreements must be in writing beforehand.

Payments within Austria should be submitted to the account of Münze Österreich AG at the Österreichische Postsparkasse while foreign payments submitted to the account of Münze Österreich AG at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and payments from customers in the Federal Republic of Germany, to the account of Münze Österreich AG.

Payments by credit card such as, VISA, MasterCard, or Diners Club, may be made only in euros and specifying the exact credit card number (16 digits or 14 digits) and the expiry date (month/year), and a signature provided.

Credit cards are not accepted for gold investments such as Vienna Philharmonic, gold trading coins, and gold bars. The Austrian Mint do not accept payments by Visa Electron cards, in addition, the Austrian Mint reserves the right to refuse credit card payments in general for orders of € 150.- and up.

Austrian Mint Shipping
Shipments from the Austrian Mint are sent to the customer within 3 weeks of the respective initial date of issue or 3 weeks from the date the order is received.

If the customer refuses delivery of a paid shipment or the shipment is returned to Austrian Mint as 'undeliverable', the customer will be notified in writing. Costs incurred due to the refusal of an order or an incorrect shipping address are borne by the customer. Austrian Mint has the right to retain such costs or to deduct them from the amount to be refunded.

If a shipment is not received, the customer is obligated to contact Austrian Mint in a timely manner in order to provide information for insurance purposes.

Requests for amendments, changes, or cancellations of an existing subscription or deletion from the address list must be submitted in writing and come into force within 2 months from the date they are received.

Austrian Mint Returns & Refunds
For contracts subject to the Distance Selling Act (BGBl 185/1999), the customer can withdraw from the contract in writing within seven working days (Saturday is not considered a working day) without specifying reasons. The term begins when the customer receives the goods.

However, if the customer has not received all of the information according to § 5d paragraph 1 and 2 KSchG (Käuferschutzgesetz, buyer protection act), the withdrawal term is three months from the date the goods are received; if the information is subsequently received within this three-month term, then the term is limited to seven days from the date the information is received. In general, the right of withdrawal does not apply to products made according to customer specifications (e.g. engraved medals).

Timely dispatch of the declaration of withdrawal is sufficient to comply with the withdrawal term. The declaration of withdrawal must be addressed to:

MÜNZE ÖSTERREICH AG
Sales Department
Am Heumarkt 1
A 1030 Vienna Fax: +43/1/715 86 10.

The goods must be returned to the Austrian Mint along with the declaration of withdrawal. All goods are returned at the sole expense and risk of the customer. Reimbursement of payments already made to the Austrian Mint for returned goods is issued after the goods are returned.

If the customer cannot return all or part of the goods to the Austrian Mint or if they are returned in an impaired condition, the customer will be obligated to provide compensation. In this case, the Austrian Mint has the right to deduct the amount of compensation from the amount being reimbursed to the customer.

Last Word on the Austrian Mint
The Australian Mint produces some of the most beautiful coins in the world. Much sought after by collectors. They have also won awards for the quality and technical innovations used in the manufacture of their products.

Of course, such coins are more for collectors than for investment. Investment in gold and silver is best done using gold or silver rounds and bullion bars. In addition one can invest in gold and silver by owning it and not having the hassle of storage and transport issues, by going to goldmoney.com and opening an account there.

If you have bought any gold coins, silver coins, gold bullion or silver bullion from the www.austrian-mint.at, please feel free to leave feedback on the quality of service and products you found, including any www.austrian-mint.at online complaints and special attention or service given by www.austrian-mint.at.

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