One Franc, Coin Type from Switzerland - detailed information

One Franc, Coin Type from Switzerland (issued 1850 - )
Coin TypeOne Franc

The One Franc coin is a circulating denomination of the Swiss Franc. Given that Switzerland has four official languages, it 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 one franc coin featuring a seated figure of Helvetia was designed by Friedrich Fisch and engraved by Antoine Bovy. The reverse shows the value, a numeral 1, and a language-neutral abbreviation of the denomination, Fr. within a wreath whose left part consists of oak branches and the right part of various Alpine flowers. This original reverse has remained unchanged and is still used on current coins. This version was heavier than current coins (5 grams) and made of 0.900 silver. It was issued between 1850 and 1861 and was initially struck by the Paris Mint. It was demonetised in two stages - 1st January 1869 for coins issued 1850-1857, then 1st January 1878 for coins issued in 1860 and 1861.

In 1875, the obverse was changed to a new design by Albert Walch featuring a Standing Helvetia. The metal was somewhat debased to 0.835 silver. This second version of the One Franc was issued until 1967 and was demonetised on 1st April 1971.

Current One Franc coins are made of cupro-nickel and weigh 4.4 grams; this version (retaining the original reverse and the second obverse) was first issued in 1968 and is still currently produced.

Obverse
Switzerland / One Franc - obverse photo

The first version of the obverse (issued between 1850 and 1861) features a seated figure of Helvetia, the female personification of the Confederation of Switzerland, resting on a plough whose two handles are seen to her right, and some grains; with her left hand she holds a triangular shield resting on the ground which bears the Swiss Cross inside an oval; her right arm is extended toward the left side of the obverse, pointing into the distance. The legend HELVETIA is around above her head. The engraver's name A. BOVY is in large letters to her left, written counter-clockwise (i.e. the letters face the opposite way to the legend).

The second obverse (issued from 1875 to the present) features Helvetia standing on a platform, her head facing to the left. In her right hand (at the left), she holds a lance, and with her left (at the right), she props up a shield with the Swiss Cross at centre. In exergue is the legend HELVETIA. On all coins made from 1874 to 1982, there are 22 five-pointed stars along the rim of the coin, going from the lower left to lower right boundaries of the obverse. These represent the 19 full Swiss cantons of the time and the six half-cantons, which are collectively represented by the three remaining stars. However, when the Canton of Jura broke away from Bern in 1979, the number of stars was no longer accurate. As a result, a new star was added to the right of Helvetia's likeness in 1983. On examples of all dates, the tip of Helvetia's lance extends to the rim and separates the ninth and tenth stars in the sequence. Nine of the stars are engraved up to the lance, two between the lance and Helvetia's face, and 11 or 12 to the right of the central allegorical figure, depending on the year of issue.

The engraver's signature, A.BOVY INCT. (an abbreviation for the Latin text "Antoine Bovy incidit", meaning "engraved by Antoine Bovy), is located around below, displayed counter-clockwise in small letters. It is split in two by the legend: "A.BOVY" appears to the left of "HELVETIA", and "INCT." to the right.

Obverse InscriptionHELVETIA
Reverse
Switzerland / One Franc - reverse photo

The reverse, which has remained unchanged since 1850, shows the value - a numeral 1, and a language-neutral abbreviation of the denomination, Fr., above the date: [year] within a wreath whose left part consists of oak branches and the right part of various Alpine flowers.

Below the ribbon of the wreath is the mint mark: the letter A for the Paris Mint (1850 and 1851) or the letter B for Swissmint (formerly known as the Bern Mint, then the Federal Mint of Switzerland) from 1875 until present, with the exception of the years between 1970 and 1985 (incl.) when there was no mint mark.

Reverse Inscription1 Fr. [year]
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
All Coins of Type: One Franc (111)
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
One Franc 1850 2,875,000 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
One Franc 1851 2,875,000 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
One Franc 1857 526 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
One Franc 1860 515,000 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
One Franc 1861 3,002,000 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
One Franc 1875 1,036,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1876 2,500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1877 2,520,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1880 945,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1886 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1887 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1894 1,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1896 28 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1898 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1899 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1900 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1901 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1903 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1904 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1905 700,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1906 700,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1907 800,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1908 1,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1909 900,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1910 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1911 1,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1912 1,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1913 1,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1914 4,200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1916 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1920 3,300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1921 3,800,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1928 1,500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1931 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1932 500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1934 500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1936 500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1937 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1939 2,106,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1940 2,003,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1943 3,526,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1944 6,225,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1945 7,794,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1946 2,539,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1947 624,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1952 2,853,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1953 786,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1955 194,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1956 2,500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1957 6,421,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1958 3,580,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1959 1,859,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1960 3,523,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1961 6,549,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1962 6,220,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1963 13,476,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1964 12,560,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1965 5,032,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1966 3,032,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1967 2,088,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1968 60,864,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1969 37,598,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1970 24,240,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1971 11,496,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1973 5,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1974 15,012,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1975 13,012,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1976 5,009,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1977 6,019,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1978 13,548,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1979 10,810,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1980 11,012,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1981 18,023,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1982 15,049,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1983 7,029,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1984 3,042,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1985 20,054,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1986 17,997,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1987 17,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1988 18,029,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1989 15,031,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1990 2,032,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1991 9,036,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1992 12,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1993 12,023,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1994 10,023,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1995 13,024,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1996 3,023,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1997 3,022,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1998 3,021,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 1999 3,021,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2000 4,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2001 3,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2002 1,030,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2003 2,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2004 2,029,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2005 1,029,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2006 2,030,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2007 3,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2008 7,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2009 11,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2010 15,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2011 15,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2012 12,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2013 12,023,500 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2014 13,022,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2015 10,026,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2016 10,028,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2017 10,029,500 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2018 7,027,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
One Franc 2019 9,022,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
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One Franc: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Sub-types One Franc, Seated Helvetia
One Franc, Silver
One Franc, CuproNickel
From1850
Face Value1 (x Franc)
CurrentYes
Material
DesignerFr. Fisch, A. Walch, A. Bovy
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationReversed (Coin Alignment, Axis 6)
Size (mm)
Mass (g)
One Franc: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin, Switzerland, Franc, 1850
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Notes: Reverse, silver (1850 - 1967).
Source
Coin, Switzerland, Franc, 1979
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Notes: Reverse, cupro-nickel (1968 - present).
Source
Coin, Switzerland, Franc, 1850
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Notes: Seated Helvetia obverse (1850 - 1861).
Source
Coin, Switzerland, Franc, 1952
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Notes: Standing Helvetia obverse, silver (1875 - 1967).
Source
Coin, Switzerland, Franc, 1979
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Notes: Standing Helvetia obverse, cupro-nickel (1968 - present).
Source