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The Symphony Set (Lastufka Collection)

Last Modified:  1/1/2020
Set Description
A custom set of coins, tokens, and so-called dollars featuring musical themes, including: instruments, scores, composers, or musicians.

Set Goals
I've always had a love for music. Ever since I was old enough to sit up straight, I was sitting next to the stereo with headphones on my head. I went through my dad's vinyl records, then my uncle's cassettes, and when I was finally old enough to make an allowance, I started buying my own CDs.

Fast forward a decade and I co-founded and then sold a very successful indie label, and my love for music has now extended to my coin collecting. My goal is to collect every interesting design - be it US or World, Conder or So-Called Dollar - that features a musical theme. These themes can include, but are not limited to, musical instruments, scores and notation, composers, musicians or other performers, and anything else I can tie back to the musical field.

I started this set in March of 2012, and it is a work in progress. In December of 2012 I won the "Most Creative" NGC Registry award for custom sets. The judges comments were:

"The theme of this collection is coins, medals and tokens relating to music in any way. The owner was drawn to this theme from a life-long love of the music and his career as the owner of an independent recording label. Right now there are just six entries, and he describes the set as a work in progress. None of these are USA issues as yet (suggestion — the 2002 Tennessee quarter with its three musical instruments and sheet music), but there are splendid, high grade pieces to enjoy. Each is accompanied by excellent photos and informative text."

I hope you enjoy browsing the inspiring designs below.

Slot Name
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
View Coin 1788, Great Britain, Worcestershire Conder Token G.BRIT - WORCESTERSHIRE 1/2P 1788 G.BRIT D&H-42 WORCESTERSHIRE E: SCALLOPED, SILVERED NGC MS 64 Great Britain - Worcestershire Conder Token - 1788, D&H-42

Composition: Copper with Silver-Plating
Diameter: 22mm
Mintage: Unknown, but Common

Obverse: Bust of King George III who reigned from 1760-1820.

Reverse: A cornucopia and grouping of music instruments - including a violin, horn, and sheet music - on an altar.
View Coin 1795, Great Britain, Forster's Conder Token G.BRIT - MIDDLESEX 1/2P 1795 G.BRIT D&H-302 MIDDLESEX - FORSTER'S E: PLAIN NGC MS 64 RB Composition: Copper
Diameter: 29mm
Mintage: Unknown, but a Common Conder Token

Obverse: Crown and date surrounded by musical notation for "God Save The King", which is also the melody used for "America (My Country, Tis of Thee)".

Reverse: "WM Forster. Violin, Tenor & Violoncello Maker" along with the address in a double circle, surrounding The Prince of Wales’s crest.

Edge: Plain (some examples exist with lettered edges)

This was one of the first coins I purchased raw and had graded, it was an early addition to my NGC Registry Symphony Set.

Tokens like these were produced by private individuals and businesses in the late 18th century as population growth and the Industrial Revolution spiked demand and the government failed to supply enough coinage for every day use.

This token was made by William Forster, a highly-regarded instrument maker. Forster had an instrument shop in London, which is advertised on the reverse of this token.

Forster was also a music publisher and he entered into a deal with the composer Joseph Haydn to publish Haydn's works, including numerous symphonies, quartets, and solos.

Thankfully tokens were popular coins to collect, even back at the end of the 18th century, so this high grade piece survives today. While it may not be rare or scarce or particularly valuable, it is one of the highlights of my Symphony Set and I treasure it for that reason.

View Coin 1863, United Stated, New York, Karl Token UNITED STATES NY 1863 NEW YORK F-630AM-1a CHRISTOPH KARL NGC MS 64 BN United States, New York - Civil War Token/Store Card - 1863, Christoph Karl

Composition: Copper
Diameter: 23mm
Mintage: Unknown

Obverse: Germania seated above the date.

Reverse: Lyre in wreath, surrounded by the store address and proprietor's name.

I love the design of this token, and the color it's developed over the last 150+ years. From the information I could find, Christoph Karl owned a liquor store or saloon and - along with many other store owners - issued this token because of a shortage of coins in general circulation at the time.
View Coin 1956, Austria, Bicentennial of Mozart's Birth AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC 25S 1956 WOLFGANG A. MOZART NGC PF 65 ULTRA CAMEO Austria, Silver - Commemorative - 1956, 200th Anniversary of Mozart's birth

Composition: Silver (0.3344oz)
Diameter: 30mm
Mintage: 1,000

Obverse: The denomination surrounded by 3/4th of a circle of shields.

Reverse: A standing portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the double date 1756-1956, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

Edge: Lettering

A very scarce 1,000 proofs were minted for this silver coin, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Mozart in 1956 in Austria.
View Coin 1967, Austria, Centennial of the Blue Danube Waltz AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC 50S 1967 THE BLUE DANUBE WALTZ NGC PF 68 Austria, Silver - Commemorative - 1967, 100th Anniversary of the Blue Danube Waltz

Composition: Silver (0.5787oz)
Diameter: 34mm
Mintage: 26,100

Obverse: The denomination surrounded by a circle of shields. Designed by Edwin Grienauer.

Reverse: Johann Strauss the Younger playing the violin above the date.

Edge: Lettering

The Blue Danube Waltz is the common English name of "An der Schönen Blauen Donau, Op. 314", which is German for "By the Beautiful Blue Danube", written by Austrian composer Johann Strauss II.

The Blue Danube was first performed in February, 1867 at a concert of the Wiener Männergesangsverein (Vienna Men's Choral Association), and it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of classical music since.
View Coin 1972, Poland, Fryderyk Chopin POLAND 1810-1994 S50Z 1972MW PROBA FRYDERYK CHOPIN P-325A NGC PF 66 ULTRA CAMEO Poland, Silver - Commemorative - 1972, Chopin Proba

Composition: Silver (0.3074oz)
Diameter: 30mm
Mintage: 14,622

Obverse: Stylized portrait of Fryderyk Chopin.

Reverse: Stylized eagle with wings open within circle. Also, the date and denomination.

Proba coins: According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins: "In Poland, rejected coin designs are often minted in silver in large numbers for sale to collectors. These coins have the word PROBA on them, usually stamped incuse. The coins struck in nickel are not available to the general public. Of the 500 pieces struck, 250 pieces are distributed among the members of the Polish Numismatic Society and the other 250 pieces are distributed between various banks and museums." (39th Edition, George S. Cuhaj, Editor)
View Coin 1975, Austria, 150th Anniversary of Strauss' Birth AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC S100S 1975 JOHANN STRAUSS NGC PF 67 ULTRA CAMEO Austria, Silver - Commemorative - 1975, 150th anniversary of Strauss' birth

Composition: Silver (0.4938oz)
Diameter: 36mm
Mintage: 208,600

Obverse: The denomination within a circle of shields.

Reverse: Monument with standing statue of Strauss with his violin, celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Edge: Lettering
View Coin 1975, Germany, Death of Bach GERMANY - MODERN 2 S20M 1975 JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH NGC MS 65 Germany, Silver - Commemorative - 1975, 225th Anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach's Death

Composition: Silver (0.4200oz)
Diameter: 33mm
Mintage: 72,157

Obverse: German State Emblem above the denomination.

Reverse: Musical score below the dual date.

Edge: Lettering
View Coin 1976, United States, Bicentennial UNITED STATES 25C 1776-1976 D NGC MS 67 United States, Washington Quarter - 1976, Bicentennial Design Variety

Composition: Copper-Nickel Clad
Diameter: 24.3mm
Mintage: 860,118,839

Obverse: A Portrait of President Washington under the inscription "Liberty" and above the date. Designed by John Flanagan.

Reverse: A military drummer facing a victory torch encircled by 13 stars. Designed by Jack L. Ahr.

Struck to commemorate the bicentennial of our country, these dual date (1776-1976) quarters were released in both silver and clad compositions, and both proof and non-proof strikes. Not only was the quarter reverse given this one year design change, but the half dollar and dollar coins also carried a new one-year design for the bicentennial.
View Coin 1981, Canada, National Anthem, Gold CANADA - 1968 TO DATE G$100 1981 NATIONAL ANTHEM NGC PF 69 ULTRA CAMEO Canada, Gold - Commemorative - 1981, National Anthem

Composition: Gold (0.5002oz .917 pure)
Diameter: 27mm
Mintage: 102,000

Obverse: Elizabeth II bust facing right. Date and denomination.

Reverse: Canadian National Anthem music notation.

On July 1, 1980, the Canadian Parliment decided to adopt the song "O Canada!" as the national anthem. This coin commemorates that song, featuring the notation for the first few opening notes on the reverse.

My dad gave me this coin from his personal collection when I started collecting in 2010. I had it graded in 2012 for inclusion in my Symphony Set.
View Coin 1985, Italy, European Year of Music ITALY S500L 1985R EUROPEAN YEAR OF MUSIC NGC MS 69 Italy, Silver - Commemorative - 1985, European Year of Music

Composition: Silver (0.2953oz .835 pure)
Diameter: 29.3mm
Mintage: 96,000

Obverse: The muse of music. An inspired design featuring musical elements such as the staff, a hand harp, and what appears to be the outline of a violin or guitar body. In Greek mythology, Euterpe was first named the muse of music. Later she was referred to as the muse of lyrical poetry. She is credited by some with inventing the double-flute. Designed by M. C. Colaneri.

Reverse: Frontal view of a pipe organ with the date and denomination below it. The inscription “Anno. Europeo. Della. Musica." crowns the entire design. The pipe organ was invented in in Ancient Greece in the 3rd century BC. Before bellows were invented, water pressure was used to create the wind required. Designed by M. C. Colaneri.

Edge: Lettering, “Repubblica Italiana”

This coin was minted as part of the European Year series, an annual celebration where a different subject or event is celebrated for twelve months, including commemorative coinage and stamps.

This was the first coin purchased for my Symphony Set in early 2012, a custom set of coins featuring musical themes, including: instruments, scores, composers, or musicians. And it is still one of my favorite pieces in this collection.
View Coin 1985, Sweden, European Year of Music SWEDEN - 1855 TO DATE S100K 1985 U EUROPEAN MUSIC YEAR NGC MS 67 Sweden, Silver - Commemorative - 1985, European Year of Music

Composition: Silver (0.4758oz .925 pure)
Diameter: 32mm
Mintage: 120,000

Obverse: Stylized portrait of the muse of music (which can be seen in another rendering on my 1985 S500L European Year of Music coin, another piece in this collection).

Reverse: Three crowns and music notation.
View Coin 1989, Austria, Gold Philharmonic AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC G2000S 1989 VIENNA PHILHARMONIC NGC MS 67 Austria, Gold - Bullion, Vienna Philharmonic - 1989, 2000 Shilling

Composition: Gold (1oz .9999 pure)
Diameter: 37mm
Mintage: 351,000

Obverse: The Vienna Musikverein's Golden Hall pipe organ. Designed by Thomas Pesendorfer.

Reverse: Various instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic, including the Viennese horn, bassoon, harp, four violins, and a cello. Designed by Thomas Pesendorfer.

This gold bullion coin is named for the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and is minted by the Austrian Mint. The 1oz gold version was introduced in October 1989 and is one of the world's best selling bullion coins.

Over the years various fractional sizes have been introduced, and in 2008 a silver 1oz version was introduced. Originally featuring a denomination of 2,000 Austrian shillings, the gold 1oz coin was updated in 2002 with a value of 100 euros with the adaptation of that currency. The 1oz silver coin has a denomination of 1.5 euro.

I'm a musician and audiophile, so naturally I love the music theme chosen for this coin. According to the Austria Mint's literature, music is "a harmonious ambassador whose language is understood the world over." A sentiment I agree with, rendered in a design I feel is very attractive.

I submitted this coin raw for grading.
View Coin 1991, Czechoslovakia, Mozart CZECHOSLOVAKIA S100K 1991 WOLFGANG A. MOZART PCGS MS 69 Czechoslovakia, Silver - Commemorative - 1991, 200th Anniversary of Mozart's death

Composition: Silver (0.2926oz .700 pure)
Diameter: 31mm
Mintage: 75,000

Obverse: CSFR quartered shield above the denomination.

Reverse: Bust of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart above the dual dates 1791-1991. Designed by J. Harcuba.

According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins: "2,620 pieces, Unc and Proof, were melted by the Czech National Bank in 1999." (39th Edition, George S. Cuhaj, Editor)

This coin was a gift from my friend Brandon for my Symphony Set.
View Coin 2002, Ireland, Bi-metallic Harp IRELAND - REPUBLIC 2E 2002 NGC MS 65 Ireland - 2 Euro - 2002

Composition: Bi-metallic
Diameter: 25.7mm
Mintage: 90,548,166

Obverse: A beautiful harp surrounded by "Eire" (which is Irish for "Ireland") and the date, 2002. This was the first year of issue for this design. Harps were independently invented and developed throughout history, with some early depictions going back as far as 400 BC by the Egyptians. Designed by Jarlath Hayes.

Reverse: A map of Ireland with the denomination, two euros. Designed by Luc Luycx.

This design was used from 2002 through 2006.
View Coin 2002, United States, Tennessee Statehood UNITED STATES 25C 2002 D TENNESSEE NGC MS 67 United States - Statehood Quarter - 2002, Tennessee

Composition: Copper-Nickel
Diameter: 24.3mm
Mintage: 286,468,000

Obverse: Traditional portrait of George Washington from previous quarter series, slightly altered to include some of the wording previously used on the reverse.

Reverse: State theme for Tennessee, "Musical Heritage", including a guitar, violin, and trumpet, along with sheet music.

This coin was part of the 50 Statehood Quarters series which honored five states each year from 1999-2008.

I added this coin to my Symphony Set at the recommendation of NGC itself. In 2012 they awarded my Symphony Set the "Most Creative" award and recommended the coin given its reverse.
View Coin 2004, Austria, Joseph Haydn AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC G50E 2004 JOSEPH HAYDN NGC MS 70 Austria, Gold - Commemorative - 2004, Great Composers Series - Joseph Haydn

Composition: Gold (0.3214oz)
Diameter: 22mm
Mintage: 50,000

Obverse: Portrait of Joseph Haydn with the dual dates 1732-1809 to the right and his signature to the left.

Reverse: The Schloss Esterhazy Palace below a bit of musical notation.

Edge: Smooth

This is the first of three coins in Austria's Great Composers Series. This coin celebrates Joseph Haydn. The obverse features his portrait while the reverse features the castle of Esterhazy in Eisenstadt, where Haydn lived and worked for many years. Eisenstadt today is the site of an annual Haydn Festival.
View Coin 2006, Great Britain, Queen's 80th Birthday GREAT BRITAIN - DECIMAL S5PND 2006 QUEEN'S 80TH BIRTHDAY NGC PF 68 ULTRA CAMEO Composition: Silver (1oz .925 pure)
Diameter: 38.61mm
Mintage Limit: 20,790

Obverse: Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Ian Rank Broadley.

Reverse: A fanfare of regal trumpets. Designed by Danuta Solowiej Wedderburn.

This coin was struck by the Royal Mint to commemorate and celebrate the Queen's 80th Birthday.

In addition to the 1oz silver proof pictured here, there was a 2oz silver piedfort proof struck in 2oz of silver with the trumpets plated in 22 carat gold, a 1.1oz gold proof, as well as an uncirculated copper-nickel piece. All versions featured the same design.

View Coin 2008, Austria, Silver Philharmonic AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC S1.5E 2008 VIENNA PHILHARMONIC FIRST YEAR OF ISSUE NGC MS 69 Austria, Silver - Bullion, Vienna Philharmonic - 2008, 1.50 Euro

Composition: Silver (1oz .9999 pure)
Diameter: 37mm
Mintage: 7,773,000

Obverse: The Vienna Musikverein's Golden Hall pipe organ. Designed by Thomas Pesendorfer.

Reverse: Various instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic, including the Viennese horn, bassoon, harp, four violins, and a cello. Designed by Thomas Pesendorfer.

This silver bullion coin is named for the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra and is minted by the Austrian Mint. The 1oz silver version was introduced in 2008 and is now the highest minted and most well-known silver bullion coin from Europe. This silver coin utilizes the same design as the gold bullion coins the Austrian Mint has produced since 1989.

I'm a musician and audiophile, so naturally I love the music theme chosen for this coin. According to the Austria Mint's literature, music is "a harmonious ambassador whose language is understood the world over." A sentiment I agree with, rendered in a design I feel is very attractive.
View Coin 2009, Austria, Bicentennial of Haydn's Death AUSTRIA - REPUBLIC S5E 2009 JOSEPH HAYDN NGC MS 70 Composition: Silver (0.28219oz)
Diameter: 28.5mm
Mintage: 100,000

Obverse: Haydn's portrait in profile next to violins and sheet music. Designed by Helmut Andexlinger.

Reverse: The shields of the nine Federal Provinces of Austria surrounding the denomination. Designed by Helmut Andexlinger.

Unique nonagonal (9-sided) shaped coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of classical Austrian composer Joseph Haydn's death.
View Coin 2010, Finland, Centennial of Jylha's Birth FINLAND S10E 2010 P KONSTA JYLHA 100TH ANNIV. OF BIRTH NGC MS 70 Composition: Silver (0.83202oz .925 pure)
Diameter: 38.6mm
Mintage Limit: 5,000

Obverse: Stylized portrait in profile of Konsta Jylha playing the violin. Designed by Reijo Juhani Paavilainen.

Reverse: Stylized violin sound holes above the denomination. Designed by Reijo Juhani Paavilainen.

This highly stylized coin commemorates and celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Finland's most famous folk musician and composer Konsta Jylha.
View Coin 2014, Niue, Stradivari NIUE S$1 2014 ANTONIO STRADIVARI COLORIZED NGC MS 69 Niue, Silver - Special Issue - 2014, Antonio Stradivari "Lady Blunt" Violin

Composition: Silver (1oz .999 pure)
Diameter: 42mm
Mintage: 999

Obverse: The back side of Stadivari's "Lady Blunt" violin featuring a real wood inlay surrounded by the denomination and date, fineness, and an image of Queen Elizabeth II.

Reverse: Colorized image of Stadivari's "Lady Blunt" violin surrounded by the dual dates 1644-1737 and the inscription "Antonio Stradivari".

This is the first coin ever to feature a real varnished wood inlay, each one handcrafted. The mintage was limited to 999 pieces and each coin is numbered on the edge (mine is #0175).

The coin depicts the "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius violin of 1721. This violin was made by Antonio Stadivari and is named after its first original owner, Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron. The Lady Blunt is one of the two best-preserved Stradivarius violins in existence. It has survived, like the Messiah Stradivarius of 1716, in near-original condition since it has resided mostly in the hands of collectors and seen little use. The Lady Blunt violin was sold at auction in 2011 for $15.9 million and was described as "the best-preserved Stradivarius to be offered for sale in the past century".

The dual dates on the reverse cover Stradivari's birth year and year of death. Stradivari is often recognized as one of the finest instrument makers to have ever lived. In addition to violins, Stradivari also made harps, guitars, violas, and cellos. One current estimate has his total output at 1,100 instruments made, with about 650 surviving today.

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