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 featured a seated figure of Helvetia; in 1888, this was changed to a new design 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 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 specifications of the Latin Monetary Union were kept: 25 grams weight, 0.900 silver and 0.100 copper.
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.