Author Topic: Coinage of Switzerland  (Read 3031 times)

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Offline <k>

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Coinage of Switzerland
« on: May 28, 2019, 09:29:55 PM »


Map of Switzerland.





Tourist map showing Switzerland's location in Europe.



From Wikipedia:

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. It is a landlocked country, geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, and spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them Zürich and Geneva.

The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Since the Reformation of the 16th century, Switzerland has maintained a strong policy of armed neutrality; it has not fought an international war since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002.

Switzerland occupies the crossroads of Germanic and Romance Europe, as reflected in its four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, and Alpine symbolism.

Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product. It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association but is notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 09:33:02 PM »
From Wikipedia:

The flag of Switzerland displays a white cross in the centre of a square red field. The white cross is known as the Swiss cross. Its symbolism was described by the Swiss Federal Council in 1889 as representing "simultaneously the Christian cross symbol and the field sign of the Old Confederacy".

The Swiss flag is one of only two square sovereign-state flags, the other being the flag of Vatican City. The emblem of the Red Cross is the Swiss flag with reversed colours.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 09:37:41 PM »
From Wikipedia:

Although 22 cantons and half-cantons issued coins between 1803 and 1850, less than 15% of the money in circulation in Switzerland in 1850 was locally produced, with the rest being foreign, mainly brought back by mercenaries. In addition, some private banks also started issuing the first banknotes, so that in total, at least 8000 different coins and notes were in circulation at that time, making the monetary system extremely complicated. In practice, only the larger German or French trade coins were recognized for large payments within and outside Switzerland. Local small change or banknotes were typically useful only in the issuing canton and were not accepted elsewhere.

To solve this problem, the new Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 specified that the federal government would be the only entity allowed to issue money in Switzerland. This was followed two years later by the first Federal Coinage Act, passed by the Federal Assembly on 7 May 1850, which introduced the franc as the monetary unit of Switzerland. The franc was introduced at par with the French franc. It replaced the different currencies of the Swiss cantons, some of which had been using a franc (divided into 10 batzen and 100 centimes) which was worth 1.5 French francs.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 03:12:29 PM »
From Wikipedia:

In 1850, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 centimes and ​1⁄2, 1, 2, and 5 francs, with the 1 and 2 centimes struck in bronze, the 5, 10, and 20 centimes in billon (with 5% to 15% silver content), and the franc denominations in .900 fine silver. Between 1860 and 1863, .800 fine silver was used, before the standard used in France of .835 fineness was adopted for all silver coins except the 5 francs (which remained .900 fineness) in 1875.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 03:18:07 PM »
The 1 centime coin, also know as 1 rappen, featured the Swiss shield between branches of laurel and oak on the obverse. The shield was surmounted by a traditional Swiss plumed hat.

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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 03:19:41 PM »
The reverse of the 1 rappen coin featured the denomination within a laurel wreath.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 03:39:02 PM »
The 2 rappen coin was similar in style to the 1 rappen.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 03:54:16 PM »
The 5 rappen coin was made of billon. The obverse featured the Swiss shield overlaid on ears of wheat.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 03:55:45 PM »
The reverse of the 5 rappen coin featured the denomination within a wreath of grapevine.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 04:00:10 PM »
The obverse of the 10 rappen coin showed the Swiss shield surrounded by oak leaves and acorns. The reverse featured the denomination within a wreath of oak leaves and acorns.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 04:06:50 PM »
The 20 rappen coin continued the nature theme. This time alpine roses (Rhododendron ferrugineum) were featured.
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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 04:16:36 PM »
The silver half franc coin showed Helvetia, the female personification of Switzerland, on the obverse. She is featured against a background of mountain scenery, which was based on the Jungfrau mountain as seen from the town of Interlaken.

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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 04:17:56 PM »
The reverse of the ½ franc coin shows the denomination with a wreath of oak leaves and alpine roses.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 04:25:45 PM »
The 1 franc coin was similar in style to the ½ franc coin.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

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Re: Coinage of Switzerland
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 06:30:36 PM »
The 2 francs coin was again similar in style to the ½ and 1 franc coins.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.