Tag Archives: Silver

2013 Austria 1.5 Euro Silver Coin Philharmonic

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin reverse

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin reverse

This coin is an Austrian silver 1 ounce bullion piece. Austria is one of the biggest silver minters worldwide. Philharmonics are collected by stackers along with the American Silver Eagles, Chinese Pandas, Canadian Maples, Mexican Libertads, Russian St. George 3 Rubles, and Great Britain’s Brittanias. They’ve been issued annually since 2008, and have a beautiful musical themed obverse celebrating the instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

On the obverse, the dominant image is the pipe organ of the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria. The legends on this side of the coin include the German words “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” clockwise from 9:00 to 3:00 and “1 UNZE FEINSILBER” horizontally about 2/3 of the way down the coin. Below that is the date, and at the bottom from 7:00 to 5:00 is the denomination “1.50 EURO”.

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin

The reverse shows an array of musical instruments, under the legend “Wiener Philharmoniker” from 9:00 to 3:00. The instruments include a violin, viola, cello, bassoon, flute, harp, and French horn.

Identification code: KM-3159

Date: 2013

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 14,536,400

Country of origin: Austria

Composition: 99.9% Silver

Size: 37mm

Weight: 31g (1 oz)

Other details: Thomas Pesendorfer is the artist behind the reverse design. His imagery was originally designed in 1989 for use on the Gold Austrian Philharmonic Coin.

The Austrian mint was founded in 1194 by Duke Leopold VI of Austria. Leopold was paid a huge 15 ton silver ransom by England’s King Richard the Lionheart when the king traveled through the region on his return from The Crusades. Today, the Austrian Mint produces all the circulation and commemorative coins for the national government.

Estimated Value: $23 with silver at ~$18/oz

1830 Small Bust Dime United States

This coin is in rough shape. But, at nearly 200 years of age, I can only hope to look as good! I would grade this as a G4, with the reverse possibly meriting a VG8 (that could just be wishful thinking). The obverse seems to have old residue, possibly from a piece of tape.

US - Dime - 1830 Bust Disme Obverse shows a woman wearing a turban looking to the left. This coin is worn so that all the letters are only barely visible.

US – Dime – 1830 Bust Disme Obverse

The obverse shows a woman facing to the left. She wears a cap with the legend “LIBERTY” on the band, and has a rather sharp profile formed by a practically straight line down her forehead to the tip of her nose. Her hair is long, with curls that gather at her neck both towards her chin and behind her. The top of a toga is visible. Seven 6-sided stars are to her left, with six more stars to her right. The date is at 6:00.

US - Dime - 1830 Reverse

US – Dime – 1830 Reverse

On the reverse, an eagle with it’s wings spread clutches olive branches in it’s right talon (on the left side) and arrows in it’s left talon (on the right side). The eagle’s chest is covered with a heraldic shield, and scrollwork over it’s head carries the motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. From 8:00 to 4:00, the legend reads “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”. The denomination “10C” is at 6:00.

Date: 1830

Mint Mark: n/a (Philadelphia)

Catalog code: US KM-48

Mintage: 510,000 (PCGS estimates the coin as having an R5 of 1,000 or less surviving in all grades)

Country of origin: United States of America

Composition: 89.20% silver

Size: 18.5mm diameter

Weight: 2.7 grams (for an ASW of 0.0774 oz)

Other details: The Redbook lists 3 major die varieties: 1830 Large C, 1830 Small C, and 1830 30 Over 29 (overdate). There are also 8 varieties identified as JR-1 through JR-8 (I’m still working on learning what sets those apart still to attribute this particular variety).

For an interesting history of the dime in US coinage, check out NGC’s post on early dimes (other proposed names included a disme, deci, or tenth).

Most interesting to me – the engraver who created the Bust pattern (John Reich) came to the US as an indentured servant and was freed when his contract was paid off by an unknown benefactor at the US mint. He later became “2nd engraver,” junior to Chief Engraver Robert Scot. It is possible that Scot (who is not remembered for being a particularly talented engraver and who was going blind in his elder years) paid off the contract in order to keep his prestigious title while letting Reich do the actual work, but Reich’s benefactor is unknown. Others have speculated that Mint Director Robert M. Patterson may have paid off his indenture.

What is known is that Reich was prolific & redesigned practically every coin in circulation at the time. From 1807 to 1817, he labored at very modest income & reworked the half cent, cent, dime, quarter, half dollar, $2.5 dollar, and $5 gold pieces. John Reich resigned from the mint in 1817 after 10 years of work without any promotion or raise in pay. His salary ($600 per year) sure puts the contemporary value of these coins in perspective!

At the start of the 19th century, the dime was still unfamiliar to most Americans. Even though a Congressional Act in 1792 had called for a decimal system based on the dollar, they were some of the last coins introduced by the mint. Dimes were also made in very low quantities because merchants who paid the mint to convert silver into coinage often preferred larger denomination coins which were easier to securely store and transport by ship or stagecoach.

Spanish silver and coins from Mexico circulated widely in the US at the time. The Spanish real (1/8 of a Spanish pillar dollar) was treated as a 12.5 cent piece, and paired well in making change for US quarters (aka “2 bits”). Another coin that circulated at the time was a Spanish coin of lower silver alloy struck in the 1700’s. Though these were called two reales, the lower inherent value meant that these “pistareen” coins were treated as having a face value of 20 cents. The dime first gained widespread use making change for pistareens.

US - Dime - 1830

US – Dime – 1830

US - Dime - 1830 04

US – Dime – 1830 04

Estimated Value: $20-25 with silver at ~$16/oz (silver price doesn’t really affect these due to their high numismatic value)

1891 German East African 1 Rupie Silver Coin

This coin is a neat piece of history, from the German colony of East Africa (modern day Tanzania). That short lived bit of colonialism got knocked out early on in the first world war (the last coins were minted in 1916). I’d grade this one in Fine (F12) to Very-Fine (VF20) condition.

German East Africa - 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East Africa – 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

The obverse shows the German Kaiser Willhelm the second in military garb, from the chest up, facing to the left. He has a rather odd eagle on his helmet (where a spike would normally be in Prussian uniform). The legend reads “Guilelmus II Imperator” from 8:00 to 4:00.

German East African - Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

German East African – Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

On the reverse, there’s an odd crest in the center, with a tropical tree supplanted by a lion striding to the left (with it’s right paw raised) all inside of a scrolling, scalloped shape that defies easy description. The date is at the bottom of the crest. There’s a ring outside the crest, with the legend written outside that. It reads “Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft” from 8:00 to 4:00. The denomination is written in that same area from 7:00 to 4:00 ‘ “Eine Rupie”.

Identification code: GermanEastAfrica KM-2 (1890-1902)

Date: 1891

Mint Mark: n/a (Berlin)

Mintage: 126,000

Country of origin: Germany (for use in modern day Tanzania)

Composition: 91.7% silver (8.3% copper, presumably)

Size: 30mm

Weight: 11.6 grams

Other details: After 1902, the pattern on the Rupiah’s reverse changed pretty drastically. Instead of the shield pattern, the imagery was removed and replaced with “1 Rupie” + the date within a wreath.

Estimated Value: $20-30 with silver at ~$20/oz (these have a premium above their silver content)

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

Coin - German East Africa - 1 Rupia 1891 02

Coin – German East Africa – 1 Rupia 1891 02


2003 Wildlife Refuge Centennial Duck

This gallery contains 4 photos.

This medal is part of a 4 piece set. This example is slabbed by PCGS and graded PR69DCAM. I’ve put a censorship block over the serial number on my piece, as I don’t want copies of mine flowing out of … Continue reading

Australian 5 Dollar Silver 2000 Olympic Map

This coin is encapsulated in a plastic case & is in clean proof condition. There’s some residue on the case, but the coin’s surface is pristine. The fields are mirrorlike & the details are frosty.

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Obverse

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Obverse

The obverse shows the bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing to the right, wearing her full regalia (a stylized variation on the Imperial State Crown, teardrop earrings, pearl necklace). The legend reads “Elizabeth II Australia 2000” clockwise from 7:00 to 4:00. The denomination is clockwise from 7:00 to 5:00.

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Reverse

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Reverse

On the reverse, there’s a map of Australia, surrounded by 19 tall sailing ships (mostly they appear to be 3 or 4 masted schooners) representing the settlement era ships each with it’s masts pointing toward the center of the coin. On the continent, there are 2 stickfigures that seem to be dancing in opposite directions next to 4 footprints (a mix of outlined & full). Wavy lines surround the shore, representing the Great Barrier Reef. At 6:00 is a 6 sided trapezoidal diamond that may represent the Olympic Torch, with 5 colorized rings.

Identification code: Australia KM-371

Date: 2000

Mint Mark: C (Canberra)

Mintage: 100,000 (sold in sets of 16)

Country of origin: Australia

Composition: 99.99% Silver

Size: 40.5 mm

Weight: 31.635 g (without the case)

Other details: The interlocking rings are the symbol of the Olympic Games. There are five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. Originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin; the ring colours supposedly included all of those found on the national flags of the countries that competed in the Olympic games at that time. Coubertin wrote in the 1912 Olympique:

“…the six colours [including the flag’s white background] thus combined reproduce the colours of all the nations, with no exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tri- colours of France, England and America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, the yellow and red of Spain next to the novelties of Brazil or Australia, with old Japan and new China. Here is truly an international symbol.”

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000 Continental Map

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000 Continental Map

Coin Australia 5 Dollar Olympic Ring Closeup

Coin Australia 5 Dollar Olympic Ring Closeup

Estimated Value: $75 with silver at ~$28/oz

1829 Bust Half Dollar O-114

This coin has been seen a lot of history. I only hope that I look as good going into my second century! I’d grade it a G4 or a VG8 on a generous day. There’s a large X scratched into the reverse that significantly harms its eye appeal.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Obverse 04

1829 Bust Half Dollar Obverse 04

The obverse shows lady Liberty facing to the left, with a lot of cleavage showing. She wears a rather crushed looking liberty cap, and has curls of hair down to her shoulders.  She is surrounded by 13 six-sided stars; 7 run from her bosom at 8:00 to her temple at 11:00 and 6 run from the back of her head at 2:00 to her back at 4:00. The date is at 6:00.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse 03

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse 03

On the reverse, an emblematic eagle sits on a nest of arrows. The eagle has a shielded chest, a rather serpentine neck (facing to the left) and spread wings. The legend “United States of America” runs from 8:00 to 4:00. A banner scroll reads “E Pluribus Unum” between the legend and eagle’s head from 10:00 to 2:00. The denomination “50 C” is at 6:00.

Date: 1829

Mint Mark: n/a (so Philadelphia)

Mintage: 3,712,156

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

Size: 32.5mm

Weight: 13.48 grams

Other details: The dies on these are all attributed by Overton. I don’t know all the differences between varieties, but they mostly have to do with the spacing of letters on the reverse. On some, the “I” in Liberty is further to the left or right of the “T” in United States.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse with Overton attribution to O-114

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse with Overton attribution to O-114

I was told that this is an O-114 variety. Overton varieties start with 001 and were numbered based on their order of discovery. Typically, this means that the higher Overton numbers are scarcer. In this case, the O114 variety is rated as a R3 (which I believe is based on the Sheldon rarity scale below):

R1 is common (1000+ pieces known)
R2 is Slightly uncommon (501-1000 pieces known)
R3 is Scarce (201-500 pieces known)
R4 is Very Scarce (81-200 pieces known)
R5 is Rare (31-80 pieces known)
R6 is Very Rare (13-30 pieces known)
R7 is Extremely Rare (4-12 pieces known)
R8 is Unique or nearly so (1-3 pieces known)

Estimated Value: $60 to $90 with silver at ~$21/oz