Twenty Francs, Gold, Coin Type from Switzerland - detailed information

Twenty Francs, Gold, Coin Type from Switzerland (issued 1897 - 1949)
Coin TypeTwenty Francs, Gold

The Twenty Francs coin is a 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. The denomination is thus shown with a language-neutral abbreviation on the reverse: 20 FR.

Initially when federal Swiss coinage was introduced in 1850, all "francs" (from five francs down to a half franc) were full-bodied silver, while the centimes were either billon (low-grade silver) or base metal. In 1883, the first 20 francs gold coin was introduced, with a design like the 5 francs coin at the time (but with a slightly different shield on the reverse, and a different female personification on the obverse). It contained 6.45 g gold at 90% purity, conforming with the standard of the Latin Monetary Union. In 1895, the Federal Council decided that the coin should be made with a novel design. A depiction of Helvetia by Neuchâtel artist Fritz Ulysse Landry (1842 - 1927) was selected, which shows a female head with tresses in profile, with a garland of edelweiss and an alpine panorama in the background. The design was widely popular and given the endearing nickname of Vreneli.

A 10 francs version of the Vreneli was also produced from 1911 to 1922. The first series of banknotes, issued 1907, included no 10 or 20 francs denomination. The gold coins existed in circulation alongside the corresponding banknotes during 1911 - 1936. With the devaluation of 1936, the intrinsic value of the gold coins rose above their face value; however, they have never been formally demonetised, even though they were effectively withdrawn from circulation after 27 September 1936.

Obverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs, Gold - obverse photo

On coins issued 1883 - 1896: within a beaded border, the obverse design of the coin shows a depiction of Libertas - the female personification of Liberty - by Albert Walch. Libertas is seen in profile, facing left, with a garland of edelweiss flowers in her hair, wearing a diadem with the text LIBERTAS (Latin for Liberty) on it.

Around left and right, the legend CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA (translated from Latin: Confederation of Switzerland).

On coins issued 1897 - 1949: within a beaded border, the obverse design of the coin shows a depiction of Helvetia - the female personification of Switzerland - by Fritz Ulysse Landry. Helvetia is seen in profile, facing left, her hair braided, with a garland of edelweiss flowers around her shoulders. There is an alpine panorama of high mountains (the Alps) in the background. The design is widely known by its nickname of Vreneli.

The artist's name F. LANDRY is incuse around right, on Helvetia's sholder.

Around above, the inscription HELVETIA (the Latin name of Switzerland).

Obverse Inscription HELVETIA
Reverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs, Gold - reverse photo

On coins issued 1883 - 1896: The reverse design by Christian Bühler features, within a beaded border, the Coat of Arms of Switzerland being a Swiss Cross on a plain shield, with thin vertical lines in the background as a "heraldic colour" (tincture) signifying red. The shield is within a wreath of oak leaves and laurels; above the shield, a star. The value 20 is to the left of the shield, and the denomination - abbreviated to FR - is to the right. Below that, the date: [year].

On coins issued 1897 - 1949: the reverse design by Fritz Ulysse Landry 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. In the background behind the shield, an oak branch tied with a ribbon above the shield. The value 20 is to the left of the shield, and the denomination - abbreviated to FR - is to the right.

Under the shield, the date of issue: [year]. To the right of the date, the mint mark B of the Federal Mint of Switzerland (ex Bern Mint, now known as Swissmint).

Reverse Inscription 20 FR [year]
EdgeEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Twenty Francs, Gold - (44) Coins
Coin NameReverseObverseDetails
Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Voigt Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Voigt - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Voigt - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 200
Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 30
Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mints:
- Brussels Mint: 1,000
- Bern Mint: 80
Total Mintage: 1,080
Twenty Francs 1883 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1883 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1883 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 250,000
Twenty Francs 1886 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1886 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1886 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 250,000
Twenty Francs 1887 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1887 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1887 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 176
Twenty Francs 1888 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1888 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1888 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 4,224
Twenty Francs 1889 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1889 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1889 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1890 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1890 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1890 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 125,000
Twenty Francs 1891 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1891 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1891 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1892 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1892 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1892 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1893 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1893 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1893 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,025
Twenty Francs 1894 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1894 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1894 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 120,600
Twenty Francs 1895 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1895 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1895 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 200,019
Twenty Francs 1896 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1896 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1896 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,000
Twenty Francs 1897 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1897 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1897 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,029
Twenty Francs 1898 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1898 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1898 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,000
Twenty Francs 1899 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1899 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1899 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 300,000
Twenty Francs 1900 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1900 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1900 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,000
Twenty Francs 1901 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1901 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1901 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 500,000
Twenty Francs 1902 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1902 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1902 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 600,000
Twenty Francs 1903 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1903 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1903 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 200,000
Twenty Francs 1904 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1904 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1904 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1905 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1905 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1905 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1906 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1906 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1906 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 100,000
Twenty Francs 1907 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1907 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1907 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 150,000
Twenty Francs 1908 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1908 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1908 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 355,000
Twenty Francs 1909 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1909 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1909 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,000
Twenty Francs 1910 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1910 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1910 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 375,000
Twenty Francs 1911 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1911 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1911 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 350,000
Twenty Francs 1912 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1912 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1912 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 450,000
Twenty Francs 1913 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1913 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1913 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 700,000
Twenty Francs 1914 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1914 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1914 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 700,000
Twenty Francs 1915 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1915 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1915 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 750,000
Twenty Francs 1916 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1916 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1916 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 300,000
Twenty Francs 1922 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1922 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1922 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 2,783,678
Twenty Francs 1925 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1925 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1925 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 400,000
Twenty Francs 1926 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1926 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1926 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 50,000
Twenty Francs 1927 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1927 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1927 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 5,015,000
Twenty Francs 1930 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1930 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1930 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 3,371,764
Twenty Francs 1935 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1935 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1935 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 175,000
Twenty Francs 1935 L-B Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1935 L-B - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1935 L-B - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 20,008,813
Twenty Francs 1947 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1947 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1947 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 9,200,000
Twenty Francs 1949 Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1949 - reverse photo Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1949 - obverse photo Material: 0.900 Gold
Mint: Bern Mint
Mintage: 10,000,000
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Twenty Francs, Gold: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Sub-types Twenty Francs, Gold (Libertas)
Twenty Francs, Gold (Vreneli)
From1897
To1949
Face Value20 (x Franc)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1936
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerChristian Bühler, Albert Walch, Fritz Ulysse Landry
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size21.000 mm
Mass6.452 g
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