The Fifty 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.
In regular circulation, the denomination is served by a banknote. These gold coins are non-circulating legal tender made for collectors and struck in proof grade only. They are issued in topical series, celebrating various aspects of Swiss heritage or nature. Swissmint has issued at least one every year since 2001. Initially, both sides of the coin carried a commemorative design; starting from 2004, the obverse is the same and only the reverse changes. (It is worth mentioning that some sources consider it the other way round, and call the commemorative part the obverse; however, we are going with the standard definition, which is that "obverse" is the side which specifies the issuing authority).
The edge is inscribed with the motto DOMINUS PROVIDEBIT (The Lord will provide - a quote from the Bible, Genesis 22, 8), and thirteen stars representing the original thirteen cantons of the Swiss Federation.
This commemorative coin marks 50 years since Swiss women got the right to vote.
Women's efforts to achieve equal political rights date back to the 19th century. In 1959, two-thirds of the men voted against women's suffrage, thus proclaiming a clear "no". But Swiss women did not give up their fight and like-minded women increasingly joined forces. The figurehead of this dynamic women's movement was Emilie Lieberherr, who called on her female comrades to march on Bern. Determined and equipped with banners, around 5,000 women from all over Switzerland demonstrated on the Bundesplatz in the early afternoon of 1 March 1969.
On 7 February 1971, men in Switzerland were called to the polls a second time for a federal vote on introducing women's suffrage. There was a clear majority in favour, paving the way for Swiss women to be able to have their say in future elections and votes. Thus, the Sunday on which the vote was held became one of the most important political milestones in Swiss history and the day on which Swiss women were given a voice. In the subsequent National Council elections in October 1971, eleven women were elected. Over the years that followed, the proportion of women in the National Council grew steadily, and currently stands at 42%.
The reverse design shows shows a woman, wearing a classic tunic, putting a ballot in a ballot box with her left hand. With her right hand, she holds a staff terminating in ♀ - the "mirror of Venus", a universal symbol for the female gender, which also forms the zero in inscription 50 JAHRE / ANS / ANNI ("fifty years", in German, French and Italian).
Around below right, in small letters the designer's name Karin Widmer.
Vertically on the left, the inscription "Women's Right to Vote" in three languages: + FRAUENSTIMMRECHT (German), + DROIT DE VOTE DES FEMMES (French), and + DIRITTO DI VOTO DELLE DONNE (Italian).