Austrian Mint coins are renowned the world over for their richness of detail. But a unique occasion deserves a unique memento. As the Vienna Opera Ball, the highlight of the Vienna Ball season, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2016, we have now gone a step further by adding printed colour to a coin for the first time.
One of the highlights of the Vienna Opera Ball is the opening, which includes dance performances by the Young Ladies and Young Men's Committee. This is shown on the coin’s reverse, while the coin’s obverse features a young lady holding a raspberry red bouquet as a young man kisses her other hand. The addition of colour both brings the flowers to life and adds a touch of magic to this dazzling memento of a truly dazzling event.
Following a 17-year hiatus, caused by the outbreak of the Second World War and the subsequent adversity faced by war-torn Vienna, in 1956 the Opera Ball was re-established in its original home, the newly re-opened Vienna State Opera, where it has remained ever since. The Opera Ball had been held there since 1877 when Emperor Franz Joseph I gave his consent to a ‘soiree’ in the opera house. Dancing was not officially allowed that night but one thing led to another and after midnight the first dance took place. They rest, as they say, is history.