100 Euro Imperial crown of Austria
|Period||Second Republic (1945-date)|
100 EUR = 108 USD
|Orientation||Medal alignment ↑↑|
Standard Catalog of World CoinsFr# 956
by George S. Cuhaj
Gold Coins of the World: From Ancient Times to the Present
by Arthur L. Friedberg, Ira S. Friedberg
( Coin & Currency Institute, 2017)
Crown of the Habsburgs
The obverse depicts the intricate details of the crown. It is made up of three parts: a circle, a high arch and a
mitre. From the base or the circle are 8 lilies, an important reflection of the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire
which is made of 8 panels. The high arch of the Imperial Austrian Crown also mirrors the high arch of the Holy
Roman Empire Crown.
The base of the Austrian Imperial crown is very intricately crafted and set with many precious stones such
as zircons and pearls. The mitre consists of two halves, which are intricately engraved and decorated with
fine enameled bands of birds and plants. The two halves are delicately engraved with four different scenes
representing key moments in the life of Rudolf II. From the halves and in the middle of the crown the high arch
rises, set with 8 diamonds and an emerald at the top to symbolize heaven.
Also located on this side of the coin are the country of issue “Republik Oesterreich” (Republic of Austria), the face
value of 100 euros, the year of issue 2012 and the words “Die Oesterreichische Kaiserkrone” Austrian Imperial
Crown. A ring of tiny pearls along the outer edge encircles both sides of the coin. This side of the coin was
designed by the Austrian Mint’s chief engraver Thomas Pesendorfer. Thomas states that he spent well over 40
hours to painstakingly carve the minute details of the elaborate crown into the plaster model.
DIE ÖSTERREICHISCHE KAISERKRONE
Engraver: Thomas Pesendorfer
The reverse of the coin features a depiction of Emperor Francis Joseph I in the imperial robes of the Austrian
Empire. The image is based on a painting by Julius Viktor Berger, which currently hangs in the Vienna Supreme
Court of Justice. The Emperor is depicted with the richly embroidered robe, and over his shoulders is the
mantle of the Austrian Empire made of white silk, red velvet and ermine. On the left side of the mantle are four
elaborately decorated orders of the House of Habsburg. From the heavy gold chain across his chest hangs the
Order of the Golden Fleece. He is holding the Imperial spectre which, similar to the Imperial crown, is decorated
with enamel and set with precious stones and pearls. The Imperial crown rests on a lush cushion in the lower
right side of the coin design field, while in the background is the double-headed eagle insignia of the Austrian
This reverse was engraved by mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger. Helmut did give the Emperor a slightly more
friendly look in the coin portrait than in the original painting. Helmut found it “very challenging” to carry out the
very lengthy engraving work and execute the significant number of very fine details to eventually be included on a
coin that has a diameter of only 30 mm.
The Habsburg dynasty, which lasted over 800 years, did not believe that coronations were necessary because it
was a hereditary right. The Imperial Crown and the robes were used for the ceremonial investiture rather than a
The Imperial crown of Austria was originally the personal crown of Rudolf II and crafted in 1602. It is considered
one of the best European examples of the art of goldsmithing of this time. Jan Vermeyen of Antwerp was
summoned to Prague to craft this very elaborate pure gold crown. Fortunately, this spectacular crown was not
dismantled after the death of Rudolf II but succeeded to exist in regal splendour to this day. It is kept in the
Imperial Treasury or Schatzkammer located in the Imperial Palace in the center of the city of Vienna.
The order of the Golden Fleece is one of the most prestigious orders of Europe, (the other being England’s
Order of the Garter) founded by Duke Philip and Princess Isabella of Portugal on the occasion of their marriage
in 1430. The order still exists today and the current head is Karl Habsburg-Lothringen. Other members today
include fellow royals from Europe.
The Order of the Golden Fleece was restricted to a limited number of knights. The power of the Order of the
Golden Fleece was mighty with the king, who was also the sovereign head of the order, consulting with the
members of the order before going to war, and deciding on most corner stone strategic moves of a kingdom. As
well, performance of members was also critically reviewed by fellow knights, and punishment was meted out
when deemed necessary and signed off on by 6 fellow knights
Lettering: FRANZ JOSEPH I.
Engraver: Helmut Andexlinger
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