Five Francs, Silver (Large), Coin Type from Switzerland - detailed information

Five Francs, Silver (Large), Coin Type from Switzerland (issued 1888 - 1916)
Coin TypeFive Francs, Silver (Large)

The Five Francs coin is a circulating denomination of the Swiss Franc. Given that Switzerland has four official languages, the Franc has three different names: Franken in German, franc in French and Romansh, and franco in Italian. Initially when federal Swiss coinage was introduced in 1850, all "francs" (including the half franc) were full-bodied silver, while the centimes were either billon (low-grade silver) or base metal.

The first version of the five francs coin featuring a seated figure of Helvetia was issued between 1850 and 1874. In 1888, the coin was changed to this second design by Christian Bühler and Karl Schwenzer, with the reverse showing a shield within a wreath, and the obverse featuring a portrait of the symbolic figure Helvetia. Unlike the smaller denominations, its metal was not debased. This coin was larger and heavier than current coins (25 grams) and was made of 0.900 silver and 0.100 copper, as per the specifications of the Latin Monetary Union.

This changed again in 1922, to the current design by Paul Burkhard with a re-designed shield on the reverse and the figure of an Alpine herdsman on the obverse. The next transformation of the denomination was in 1931 when the coins were made smaller; these and the earlier type 5 Francs were demonetised on 1st February 1934.

The final change was in 1968 when silver content was abandoned, and the circulating earlier types were demonetised on 1st April 1971. The current Five Franc coins are smaller and made of cupro-nickel.

Obverse
Switzerland / Five Francs, Silver (Large) - obverse photo

The obverse shows a portrait of Helvetia by Karl Schwenzer. The legend reads CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA; the date is also on the obverse, separated from the legend by a quatrefoil: * [year].

Obverse Inscription CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * [year]
Reverse
Switzerland / Five Francs, Silver (Large) - reverse photo

The reverse design by Christian Bühler features the Coat of Arms of Switzerland, being a Swiss Cross on a shield, with thin vertical lines in the background as a "heraldic colour" (tincture) signifying red. The shield is within a wreath, the left part of which consists of oak leaves and the right part of laurels; above the shield, a star. The value 5 is to the left of the shield, and the denomination - abbreviated to F - is to the right.

The mint mark B of the Bern Mint is under the ribbon.

Reverse Inscription 5 F
EdgeInscribed (lettering in relief)Edge InscriptionDOMINUS *** PROVIDEBIT **********
Notes

The edge is lettered, carrying the legend DOMINUS PROVIDEBIT (from Latin: God will provide) and 13 stars, in relief.

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Five Francs, Silver (Large): Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Sub-type ofFive Francs
From1888
To1916
Face Value5 (x Franc)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1934)
Material0.900 Silver
DesignerChristian Bühler, Karl Schwenzer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size37.000 mm
Thickness2.350 mm
Mass25.000 g
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