Austrian Corona Gold Coin

Posted - September 27, 2023
austrian corona gold coin

Austrian history is filled with stories of important rulers, dynasties, and fascinating political changes. Throughout its extensive monetary history, hundreds of coins have been used as both currency and collectables. These coins often shine light on the country’s interesting moments, people, and monuments. 

The Austrian Mint is mostly known for its Austrian Gold Philharmonics. For several decades, the coin has been one of the most popular in the world. In fact, its initial release was part of an effort to fill the gold coin market gap left after the South African Gold Krugerrand was under embargo in several massive coin-buying countries. 

But there’s another, lesser-known Austrian coin finding its way into gold portfolios around the world. With an obverse design celebrating one of Austria’s most important rulers and a beautifully detailed reverse, this coin strikes a great balance between historical imagery and fine gold bullion. 

Have you guessed the coin’s name yet? That’s right – we’re talking about the Austrian Corona Gold Coin. This guide will walk you through everything you should know about the Austrian Corona Gold Coin, an underrated gem from one of Europe’s most respected bullion mints. 

History of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin

The Austrian Corona Gold Coin isn’t your standard bullion piece. Offering exceptional numismatic value, these coins are quite a bit older than most of the ones we sell at Hero Bullion. They were initially minted in 1908, and they were successful until the minting run stopped six years later in 1914. In the 1970s, the Austrian Mint released one more “restrike” series of Austrian Corona Gold Coins. Our stock of 100 Austrian Corona Gold Coins are primarily from the restrike series, so most dates will read ‘1915.’ 

At the time of their first release, the Austrian Corona Gold Coin was one of the largest circulating gold coins in the world. It’s important for readers to understand the historical context that produced these coins. The 1915 restrike of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin actually invokes the history of World War One, which would have been ongoing in 1915. Austria itself was undergoing significant political changes during the beginning years of the 20th century. Just two years after the 1914 release of the 100 Austrian Corona Gold Coin, Austrian King Franz Joseph I died. This ruler decorates the obverse of all Austrian Gold Corona Coins, making this series an especially important one for historical rare coin collectors. 

Origin and Design 

Like most Austrian gold coins, the Austrian Corona was minted to celebrate the history and legacy of the Austrian government. The obverse of these coins was designed for its initial release in 1908. You’ll find Franz Joseph I, who ruled as the King of Austria until his death in November of 1916. He faces the right side of the coin, and the texture of his facial hair adds to the visual appeal of the coin. He wears no crown and looks solemnly off into the distance instead. 

Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin
Austrian 100 Corona Gold Coin

The reverse of the coin features a fixture of many old Austrian coins: the Austrian coat of arms. A two-headed eagle holds both a crown and a sword. On top of its head, you’ll note the royal crown of Austria. Especially for its time period, this coin features an extremely impressive level of detail. The shield of Austria appears over the chest of our eagle, and the shield’s details are rendered in exceptional intricacy. 

Historical Context

We mentioned earlier that this coin’s final minting run came just one year before the death of Emperor Franz Joseph I. But the historical context of this coin actually goes much further. Its 1914 release coincided with a major global event: the outbreak of World War One. Austria’s monarchy also didn’t survive for long after the release of this coin and the death of its beloved leader. The Austrian monarchy system was formally abolished in 1918. Their impending loss in World War One to Germany meant that Austria-Hungary would be dissolved. The final proclamation issued by the ruling Habsburg Dynasty abolished the monarchy in Austria. 

This places the Austrian Corona Gold Coin in a fascinating – and controversial – part of Austrian history. Its final minting run comes in the midst of one of the world’s most bloody international conflicts and right on the heels of the abolition of Austria’s long standing monarchy. Each piece from the Austrian Corona Gold Coin series carries with it a spectacular and impactful moment in Austrian history. 

Minting Variations 

Most of our coins come from the 1915 restrike of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin, which were actually minted after 1974. Some coins may come from earlier years, as these coins were initially minted from 1908 to 1914. From year to year, designs on the Austrian Corona Gold Coin changed very little. Each coin will feature the two-headed eagle reverse and Emperor Franz Joseph I on its obverse. 

Notable Releases

The most notable release for the Austrian Corona Gold Coin is likely the 1915 restrike. While the Austrian Mint initially planned to stop producing the 100 Corona Austrian Gold Coin in 1914, they decided to give it one more minting run in 1974. This coin’s date coincides with the breakout of World War One, making the restrike Austrian Corona Gold Coin especially valuable to collectors with an interest in war history. 

Austrian 20 Corona Gold Coin Reverse
Austrian 20 Corona Gold Coin

Aside from the restrike, there really aren’t many interesting years to collect. 1914 Austrian Corona Gold Coins were minted right before the official start of World War One, adding a new layer of historical context to these notable Austrian Corona Gold Coin releases. 

Role in Austrian Culture

The original 100 Corona Austrian Gold Coins celebrated Austria’s long history of strong rulers. At the time of their initial release, an aging Franz Joseph I was the leader of Austria. He appears on the obverse of our Coronas and wears no crown. This cultural icon is also especially important, considering that the 1914 strike of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin came just two years before his death – and one year before the world erupted into conflict in the first world war. 

Austrian Corona Gold Coins also feature a reverse that we see on many Austrian gold coins from this time period. Investors love the thin, precise look of the Austrian coat of arms on this coin. Especially considering the coin’s age, the Austrian Corona Gold Coin’s reverse displays an exceptional attention to detail. 


What are the specifications of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin? Investors who want to build their gold stacks with Austrian coinage should understand the core features that make these coins so special. Let’s take a look at the coin’s weight and gold purity, designs, face value, and rarity. 

Coin Weight and Purity

Austrian Corona Gold Coins typically carry around .9802 troy ounces of pure gold bullion. This isn’t quite .9999, but we tend to find that the durability of these coins makes them a great high-purity addition to your collection. 

At the time of its release, the Austrian Corona Gold Coin’s 100 Corona denomination was one of the largest gold coins in the world. For traders who needed to do quite a bit of business, these coins were a helpful tool. Additionally, they immediately found a home among gold stackers, who gobbled these coins up to build their bullion investment portfolios. 

Obverse and Reverse Designs 

We’ve spoken a bit about the obverse and reverse designs of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin. Let’s take a deeper look at the intricate and culturally significant designs that made these coins such a popular global collectable. 

Emperor Franz Joseph I has the distinction of being one of the last emperors of a very long Austrian dynasty. The Austrian Habsburg-Lorraine family ruled Austria as Emperors for over one-hundred years, beginning in 1804 with Francis I. The last Emperor of Austria was Charles I, who resigned in 1916 after Austrian prospects in World War One looked bleak. With his resignation, Austria became a republic for the first time in nearly one-thousand years. 

Franz Joseph I is the focal point of this coin’s obverse. His unique facial hair is evident in his portrait, which was penned by S.T. Schwartz. He’s shown in advanced age, though he possesses a kind of quiet reflection in this particular depiction. Unlike some monarch portraits, he wears no kind of jewelry and no crown. If we had to compare this coin’s obverse to a modern bullion coin, we’d probably draw comparisons to the King Type Gold Britannia, which features Charles III’s portrait on its obverse. 

The unique double-headed eagle on the reverse of the Austrian Corona Gold Coin puts a new twist to a classic Austrian symbol. The Austrian coat of arms has been used by the country since 1919. The double-headed eagle version of the coat of arms was actually not officially employed by the government until 1934, where it was replaced after just four years by the modern version. 

Austrian 10 Corona Gold Coin
Austrian 10 Corona Gold Coin

Face Value

Face values for the Austrian Corona Gold Coin include 100, 25, and 10. We sell all three on the Hero Bullion website, and we’ll include a few pictures throughout this guide to help you understand the size difference between these different denominations. 

The good news for gold bullion stackers: each denomination contains the same percentage of pure gold bullion. The 10 Corona Austrian Gold Coin, for example, is one-tenth of the weight of our 100 Corona Austrian Gold Coin. It contains approximately .0980 troy ounces of actual gold, which is a tenth of what the largest denomination contains. If you have questions about the gold content of our Austrian Corona Gold Coins, please reach out to us for more information. 

Rarity and Grading 

Austrian Corona Gold Coins minted from 1908-1914 are far rarer than the 1915 restrikes. Like we mentioned earlier, restrikes were minted in high numbers in 1974. Most of our stock of Austrian Corona Gold Coins comes from this latest mintage run, which makes them quite a bit more common than coins from the original years of 1908-1914. 

Because older coins typically have more natural wear than newer strikes, it’ll be harder for collectors to find BU versions of the Austrian Corona Gold Coins dated 1908-1914. In fact, most bullion dealers sell 1908-1914 Austrian Corona Gold Coins in AU condition. This means that they are “almost circulated,” bearing some signs of wear but otherwise looking perfect to the naked eye. 

Collecting and Investing 

Austrian Corona Gold Coins are an excellent choice if you want to build your gold stack with valuable and historically significant coins. Like we mentioned earlier, the original mintage run for this series came at an important time in Austrian – and world – history. World War One was just beginning to break out, the Austrian Monarchy was under threat from all sides, and the entire world order was about to be disrupted. 

Before you put your money on Austrian coinage, take a look at some of our tips for buying Austrian Corona Gold Coins. 

Collectability Factors

These coins are highly collectable. Why collect Austrian Corona Gold Coins? For many investors part of the appeal is that these coins carry a substantial amount of history with them. They were minted right before the beginning of World War One, and their last year of circulation happened just two years before the Austrian monarchy officially dissolved. It’s hard to get more historically relevant than that! 

Market Trends

Market trends always play an important role in any solid investment portfolio. When investors turn their attention to old, rare coins, you might see premiums skyrocket for the Austrian Corona Gold Coin. During other periods, underlying market factors may make modern coins like the Austrian Gold Philharmonic appear more attractive to collectors. 

We recommend paying close attention to the current spot price of gold. After all, these coins carry quite a bit of fine gold bullion. The base value of an Austrian Corona Gold Coin will climb or fall, depending on the current spot price of gold. In addition to spot price, also consider how much of a premium you’ll pay for your Austrian gold coin. 

Preservation and Storage

It’s always important to take steps to protect your gold coin investments. But we think that keeping your Austrian Corona Gold Coins safe and secure is an especially important part of investing in this particular product category. Coins from the original minting run (1908-1914) are extremely old, and keeping them in exceptional condition can help you profit more from your investment over time. 

Austrian Corona Gold Coin
Austrian Corona Gold Coin Reverse

Always make sure that your coins are insured, and keep them stored in a temperature controlled safe. The last thing you should ever want is to lose the value of your investment because you failed to take proper precautions when preserving and storing your gold coins. 

Authentication and Certification 

Unfortunately, counterfeiting is a very real risk when you buy any gold coin. Austrian Corona Gold Coins are no exception to this rule. Every year, investors lose millions of dollars by buying fake Austrian gold coins. We recommend only doing business with reputable companies. Hero Bullion vets all of our products for authenticity before selling them to our valued customers. 

Final Thoughts: Austrian Corona Gold Coin 

While the Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coin remains the most popular coin produced by the Austrian Mint, our very favorite might be an underrated coin from over one-hundred years ago. The Austrian Corona Gold Coin features high gold content, culturally significant designs, and a storied history that coincides with one of the most important moments in the history of all mankind. 

Do you have more questions about buying Austrian Corona Gold Coins for your own gold portfolio? Please contact us for personalized information about these exceptional rare coins. 

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About The Author

Michael Roets is a writer and journalist for Hero Bullion. His work explores precious metals news, guides, and commentary.