The Five 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 normal circulating 5 FR denomination went through several transformations: with a seated figure of Helvetia on the obverse, then a portrait of Helvetia, then the current design by Paul Burkhard - all of these in silver with the specifications of the Latin Monetary Union, until in 1931 when the coins were made smaller and the content was slightly debased. Starting in 1936, the country also occasionally issued circulating commemorative one-year type 5 Franc coins in silver to mark various important occasions, then - when silver was demonetised in 1971 - the denomination became copper-nickel.
An extensive series of copper-nickel circulating commemoratives were issued between 1974 and 1990 (in parallel with the regular design). For several years after that (1991 to 1998), no commemoratives were issued in this denomination.
In 1999, Swissimint changed the concept and started striking non-circulating commemoratives for collectors only, like the coins issued below - with topics celebrating various aspects of Swiss cultural and national heritage, and not people and events as before. These were denominated as 5 Francs at first, but after only six coins were issued in the first five years, this format was discontinued. Further non-circulating bimetallic coins are now denominated as 10 Francs.
The 1999 Five Francs collector coin celebrates the Winegrower's Festival in Vevey (French: Fête des Vignerons, Vevey).
It has been organised by the Confrérie des Vignerons (Brotherhood of Winegrowers) in Vevey since 1797. The organising committee is free to choose how often the festival takes place, but the maximum number of times is five times in a century. Up to now, the interval between two festivals has varied between 14 and 28 years. The coin marks the festival edition which took place in 1999; the next one was 20 years later, in 2019.
The festival features a show celebrating the world of winemaking; many performances take place in the marketplace near the shore of Lac Léman, and festivities also take place in the town itself. Since 2016, the Fête des Vignerons has been included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage.
Bimetallic 5 Franc coins are legal tender but are issued in small quantities for collectors only and do not circulate.