Coins of the Swiss franc
The coins of the Swiss franc are the official coins used in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. There are coins of 5 cents (German: Rappen, French: centimes), 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents (½ franc), 1 franc, 2 francs and 5 francs. In the past, there were also coins of 1 and 2 cents.
The country's name is on all the coins as Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin name of the Swiss Confederation, or Helvetia specified.
The oldest coins are still valid today—the 10 Rappen coins dating back to 1879. They are therefore among the world’s oldest coins still valid today. To date, they have the same design and the same alloy (copper, nickel). Until 1967, the circulating coins with face values of ½ franc to 5 francs were of silver alloy. These were withdrawn because the price of silver alloy exceeded the face value.
The 2-cent coins were made invalid in 1978, and 1-cent coins were made invalid in 2007, long after they had fallen out of daily use.
Since 2004, moreover, the existing pure nickel 20 Rappen coins of the years 1881–1938 have been withdrawn from circulation because machines cannot detect them. Today, all the coins except the 5 Rappen coin (aluminum bronze since 1981) are in a copper nickel (cupronickel) alloy. Seven coins (1995) are currently in circulation:
|5 Rappen||17.15 mm||1.25 mm||1.8 g||92% Cu, 6% Al, 2% Ni||Plain||Libertas head (often misinterpreted as Helvetia)||Value|
|10 Rappen||19.15 mm||1.45 mm||3 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Plain||Libertas head (often misinterpreted as Helvetia)||Value|
|20 Rappen||21.05 mm||1.65 mm||4 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Plain||Libertas head (often misinterpreted as Helvetia)||Value|
|50 Rappen||18.20 mm||1.25 mm||2.2 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Standing Helvetia||Value|
|1 Franc||23.20 mm||1.55 mm||4.4 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Standing Helvetia||Value|
|2 Francs||27.40 mm||2.15 mm||8.8 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Standing Helvetia||Value|
|5 Francs||31.45 mm||2.35 mm||13.2 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Inscribed||Alpine herdsman (often misinterpreted as William Tell)||Value|
The commemorative Swiss coins include series of 5-franc coins (uni-metallic and bi-metallic), 10-franc coins (bi-metallic), 20 Franc coins (83.5% silver), 50, 100 and 250 Franc coins (90% gold).
Notes and references
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