Coins of the Swiss franc
The coins of the Swiss franc are the official coins used in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The name of the subunit is Centime in French, Rappen in German, Centisimo in Italian and Rap in Romansh. There are coins in denominations of 5 centimes, 10 centimes, 20 centimes, ½ franc (50 centimes), 1 franc, 2 francs and 5 francs. In the past, there were also coins of 1 and 2 centimes.
The country's name is on all the coins as Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin name of the Swiss Confederation, or Helvetia specified.
The oldest Swiss coins valid today are the 10 centimes 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 (75% copper and 25% 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 These were withdrawn because the price of silver alloy exceeded its face value.
The 2-centimes coins were made invalid in 1978, and 1-centime coins were made invalid in 2007, long after they had fallen out of daily use.
Since 2004, moreover, the existing pure nickel 20 centime coins of the years 1881–1938 have been withdrawn from circulation because machines cannot detect them. Today, all the coins except the 5 centime coin (aluminum bronze since 1981) are in a copper nickel (cupronickel) alloy. Seven coins (1995) are currently in circulation:
|5 centimes||17.15 mm||1.25 mm||1.8 g||92% Cu, 6% Al, 2% Ni||Plain||Effigy of Libertas||Value|
|10 centimes||19.15 mm||1.45 mm||3 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Plain||Effigy of Libertas||Value|
|20 centimes||21.05 mm||1.65 mm||4 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Plain||Effigy of Libertas||Value|
|½ Franc (50 centimes)||18.20 mm||1.25 mm||2.2 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Helvetia, shown standing||Value|
|1 Franc||23.20 mm||1.55 mm||4.4 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Helvetia, shown standing||Value|
|2 Francs||27.40 mm||2.15 mm||8.8 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Milled||Helvetia, shown standing||Value|
|5 Francs||31.45 mm||2.35 mm||13.2 g||75% Cu, 25% Ni||Inscribed||Representation of an alpine herdsman||Value|
Notes and references
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