Two Francs, Silver, Coin Type from Switzerland - detailed information

Two Francs, Silver, Coin Type from Switzerland (issued 1874 - 1967)
Coin TypeTwo Francs, Silver

The Two Francs 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 two francs coin featuring a seated figure of Helvetia was designed by Friedrich Fisch and engraved by Antoine Bovy. The reverse shows the value, a numeral 2, 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 (10 grams) and made of 0.900 silver. It was demonetised in two stages - 1st January 1869 for coins issued 1850-1857, then 1st January 1878 for coins issued in 1860-1863.

In 1874, the obverse was changed to a new design by Albert Walch featuring a Standing Helvetia. The coins were issued to the specifications of the Latin Monetary Union, so the metal was somewhat debased to 0.835 silver (83.5% silver, 16.5% copper).

This second version of the Two Francs was issued until 1967 and was demonetised on 1st April 1971 when the country changed to the current cupronickel Two Francs coins (Swissmint mentions in its online FAQ that the deadline was extended to 31 March 1972).

Obverse
Switzerland / Two Francs, Silver - obverse photo

The obverse, which has remained unchanged from 1874 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.

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. 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 to the right of the central allegorical figure.

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 Inscription HELVETIA
Reverse
Switzerland / Two Francs, Silver - reverse photo

The reverse, which has remained unchanged since 1850, shows the value - a numeral 2, 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 B of Swissmint (formerly known as the Bern Mint, then the Federal Mint of Switzerland).

Reverse Inscription 2 Fr. [year]
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

All coins of this type were minted by Swissmint (formerly known as the Bern Mint, then the Federal Mint of Switzerland), with the exception of 1894 when they were struck by the Paris Mint.

Coin Type: Two Francs, Silver - (49) Coins
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
Two Francs 1874 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1875 982,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1878 1,500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1879 518,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1886 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1894 700,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1896 20 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1901 50,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1903 300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1904 200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1905 300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1906 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1907 300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1908 200,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1909 300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1910 250,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1911 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1912 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1913 300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1914 1,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1916 250,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1920 2,300,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1921 2,000,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1922 400,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1928 750,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1931 500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1932 250,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1936 250,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1937 250,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1939 1,455,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1940 2,503,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1941 1,192,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1943 2,089,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1944 6,276,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1945 1,134,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1946 1,629,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1947 500,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1948 920,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1953 438,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1955 1,032,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1957 2,298,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1958 650,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1959 2,905,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1960 1,980,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1961 4,653,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1963 8,030,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1964 4,558,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1965 8,526,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
Two Francs 1967 4,132,000 Helvetia, Standing HELVETIA
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Two Francs, Silver: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Sub-type ofTwo Francs
From1874
To1967
Face Value2 (x Franc)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Material0.835 Silver
DesignerFr. Fisch, A. Walch, A. Bovy
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size27.400 mm
Thickness2.150 mm
Mass10.000 g
Two Francs, Silver: Photos
ImageDetails
Switzerland 1904-B 2 francs
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki CC-BY
Source
Switzerland 1904-B 2 francs
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki CC-BY
Source