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I'm planning on buying Vienna Philharmonic bullion coins. What confuses me the most is the face value of the coins. For instance, copper coins have face value of 5 euros.

  • Will I always be able to sell this copper coin for 5 euros?

  • Who buys coins for their face value?

  • Is selling the coin reserved only for the country where the coin was bought?

  • Since the coin is from Austria, can it be used as the form of currency, for instance in a restaurant?

  • What's the point of buying copper coins since their melt value is far less than you are paying for it?

  • Any tips and tricks for a guy that plans to drop 1k + euros on bullion coins?

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    You say you are planning on making a large purchase and also that you do not understand at all what you are purchasing. Does it seem like this plan is premature? Can you explain why you are motivated to buy a thing you know nothing about and don't know how to sell or spend? – Eric Lippert Jan 29 at 16:43
  • im not going to buy a chunk of gold, im buying coins, or shall i say im investing in gold, coins have good liquidity, the thing is there are so many choices bullion, fine, circulated bla bla bla legal tender bla bla, private mints bla bla shall i continue, i tried to simplify it for you with "bla bla". – Hitsugaya Feb 1 at 18:06
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I'm planning on buying Vienna Philharmonic bullion coins. What confuses me the most is the face value of the coins. For instance, copper coins have face value of 5 euros.

You have confused bullion coins, which are valuable for the amount of precious metal they contain, with collector coins, which are valuable because collectors want to purchase them. They are completely different, and if you don't understand that difference, you shouldn't be investing in them.

Will I always be able to sell this copper coin for 5 euros?

That seems unlikely. Think about it from the buyer's perspective. They can get a guaranteed uncirculated collector coin from the mint, or they can buy one of unknown provenance from you. A smart collector would buy from you at a discount.

Now, if the coin is for some reason extremely rare and no longer available from the mint and in great demand, then maybe a collector would be willing to pay more than face value. You should do research on how often this happens.

Maybe the government that issued the coin will buy it back for face value; maybe not. Do some research.

Who buys coins for their face value?

Coin collectors can buy coins for face value from the mint.

Is selling the coin reserved only for the country where the coin was bought?

It's a hunk of metal; sell it wherever you find a collector who wants one.

Since the coin is from Austria, can it be used as the form of currency, for instance in a restaurant?

It seems unlikely that restaurants will be equipped with the necessary trained personnel to recognize collector coins. If they are legal tender in Austria, I guess in theory you could pay your Austrian taxes with them.

What's the point of buying copper coins since their melt value is far less than you are paying for it?

Some people like collecting coins. People collect weird stuff. For example, I collect biographies of JRR Tolkien. Some people collect hunks of metal with stuff stamped on them.

Any tips and tricks for a guy that plans to drop 1k + euros on bullion coins?

  • Start by learning that precious metal coins and collector coins are completely different things.
  • Do far, far more research before you make this "investment".
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    Some 'collectors coins' are in fact legal tender. In Canada the mint might issue a $2 commemorative coin which they would always redeem for $2. I don't know if these coins are like that. – DJClayworth Jan 29 at 18:51
  • the way i understood for the coin to become a legal tender it has to have face value given by the government. which coins from the munzeostereich have. the way i also understood, there aren't only 2 types of coins there are (fine, uncirculated, circulated, collector coins, bullion coins... maybe i missed some). what i asked is actually if minting company that mints copper coins with face value of 5 euros sells them for 5 euros, will i be able to sell that copper coin back to them for its face value regardless of the rarity of the coin or its melt value. – Hitsugaya Jan 30 at 10:46
  • @djclayworth yeah, mate that's what i'm trying to ask, will the minting company always buy back the coin for the face value. – Hitsugaya Jan 30 at 10:47
  • The case I was talking about is where the 'minting company' is the Royal Canadian Mint- i.e. the issuer of official money. If that's who is issuing your coins, then yes, probably they will. If not, then probably no. – DJClayworth Jan 30 at 13:46
  • @Hitsugaya: If that's the question, then (1) that's the question you should have asked, and (2) you should ask that question to the mint, not to strangers on the internet! They'll know the answer; ask them. – Eric Lippert Jan 30 at 15:54
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A bronze coin is not bullion. Copper could be bullion but it would have to be very large.

In fact I only see the Philharmonic coins in gold, silver, and platinum.

There are many collectible coins that are not precious metal.

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    I don't recognize the website and can't risk the link. If there is a bronze Philharmonic coin then it is either a collectible coin or a circulating coin but not a bullion coin. – S Spring Jan 28 at 0:47
  • the link is perfectly safe, it's official site of minting company that mints philharmonic coins,you can google it if you want you'll end up on the same site. could you answer my questions from above, as i plan on dropping serious cash soon when i visit wiena, bear in mind that i want to invest in golden uncirculated coins, as golden coins have no VAT attached to their price. atm i dont plan on buying collector coins, i want golden coins simply cus of their melt value. whilst i was scrolling through their website, i came upon those copper coins, and i was confused as melt value of 1 coin. – Hitsugaya Jan 28 at 14:13
  • is not even 1 euro, but they are selling for 5 euros, with face value of 5 euros, so im confused why would anyone buy those copper coins? could those coins be reselled forever in austria for their face value of 5 euros? can a face value of a coin be changed by the government in the future, or is it, once it's stamped, its face value remains the same forever? i have so many questions, and believe me i did an extensive research on the internet, but answers to these specific questions are hard to come by. any help is appreciated. – Hitsugaya Jan 28 at 14:16
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    The question is, is a bronze Philharmonic coin a government mint coin or a private mint coin ? – S Spring Jan 28 at 17:50
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First, you are confusing a few different types of coins.

Both of these types of coins are produced by the Austrian mint and are legal tender in Austria, but not in the rest of Europe. This means that theoretically these coins could be used to purchase items in a store in Austria for face value, and they could be exchanged for paper money at face value at an Austrian bank. However, the intrinsic value is different than face value.

The collectible coins in copper have a very low melt value. The face value of the coin, for which you can buy these coins from the Austrian Mint, is much higher than the value of the metal content. These coins have value solely because they are collectible. Being legal tender, they will not go below face value (at least in Austria), but they will only go up in value if they are sought after by collectors. Once the Mint sells out of a particular coin and is only available on the secondary market, its value is determined by the supply and demand of the collectors. However, because the metal content is worth little, don’t expect the value of these coins to rise dramatically.

Bullion coins, on the other hand, are made of precious metals that are worth much more than their face value. They are still legal tender, but their melt value and collectibility drive the actual price much higher, and you cannot actually buy these at face value.

Will I always be able to sell this copper coin for 5 euros? Who buys coins for their face value?

Because these are legal tender in Austria, yes, you should be able to get at least face value in Austria. If you can’t find a store to accept them, you should be able to exchange them at an Austrian bank. However, their collectible value will usually be higher than face value.

Is selling the coin reserved only for the country where the coin was bought?

You can sell them to anyone that wants to buy them, but their guaranteed face value is only in Austria.

Since the coin is from Austria, can it be used as the form of currency, for instance in a restaurant?

Theoretically, yes, but it is dependent on the restaurant cashier recognizing them as legal tender. Also, if the collectible value is higher than face value, it would be unwise to spend them at a store.

What's the point of buying copper coins since their melt value is far less than you are paying for it?

They may have value to collectors, but you make a good point. The metal content does not provide any significant value to these copper coins, so coin collectors are the only ones providing value to the coins.

Any tips and tricks for a guy that plans to drop 1k + euros on bullion coins?

Yes, my tip is don’t do it.

You are clearly not a coin collector yourself. Spending that kind of money on the copper collectible coins would be a very poor investment, as you don’t understand collectible coins and have no idea how to tell whether or not any of them will go up in value.

As for the true precious metal bullion coins, in addition to the fact that you don’t understand coins, you should not invest because precious metal investing is too risky for a beginning investor.

  • wow, that's the kind of an answer i wanted, thank you so much for taking the time answering all of my questions. i want to invest in gold, and bullion coins were a logical choice, as im basically paying for the gold value. i might later start collecting coins, but that's in the far future from now on. i plan on buying gold bullion coins and a few silver coins for my "piggy bank", as i think it's much easier for fiat currency to go south, than it is for gold, also it's easier to transport few gold coins than few k's in cash. i want something physical in my hands that has real value. – Hitsugaya Feb 3 at 16:11
  • again, thank you for such an elaborated answer, and thank you for not being arrogant towards a newbie regarding coin collections, i will learn more about it before i start collecting 'em, but i think bullion coins are pretty straightforward,you buy gold, you sell gold, and i dont prefer investing in jewelry, as first of all you have target pinned to your back, and jewelry is almost always far more expensive cus of the making costs etc. – Hitsugaya Feb 3 at 16:14
  • one lil question, a bank, does it have to be the austrian national bank, or private banks are also viable for buying off the coins from you? – Hitsugaya Feb 3 at 16:22
  • @Hitsugaya I think you still misunderstand. You generally do not sell your coins to a bank. My only point about mentioning a bank is that because the coins are legal tender, you should be able to exchange them at a bank at face value. However, the coins will be worth more than face value. You would sell them either to another coin collector or to a coin dealer. – Ben Miller Feb 3 at 17:52
  • i understand, i just didn't phrase myself correctly, i was thinking about copper coins as their face value is 5 euros and they can be purchased for 5 euros, so i'm basically even when selling those for face value, im not crazy to sell 500 euros worth of gold, for 100 euro face value :D – Hitsugaya Feb 3 at 19:19

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