Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel, Coin from Switzerland - detailed information

Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel, Coin from Switzerland
CoinFive Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel

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.

This 2000 Five Francs collector coin celebrates the Carnival of Basel (German: Basler Fasnacht).

The Carnival of Basel (German: Basler Fasnacht) is the biggest carnival in Switzerland and takes place annually between February and March in the city of Basel. It has been listed as one of the top fifty local festivities in Europe. It starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday at precisely 4:00 am with the so-called Morgestraich (a light show). The carnival lasts for exactly 72 hours and, therefore, ends on Thursday morning at 4:00 am. During this time the Fasnächtler (the participants) dominate the old town of central Basel, running free in the streets and restaurants. Basler Fasnacht is often referred to as die drey scheenschte Dääg ("the three most beautiful days").

Unlike the Carnival celebrations held in other cities on the Rhine (such as those in Cologne, Mainz and Düsseldorf), the Basel Carnival features a clear and well-maintained separation between participants and the spectators who line the streets.

Bimetallic 5 Franc coins are legal tender but are issued in small quantities for collectors only and do not circulate.

MintSwissmint Mint MarkLetter B Total Mintage190,000
Switzerland / Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel - obverse photo

The centre of the obverse shows masked carnival participants playing flutes. Above and below, the two parts of the inscription BASLER FASNACHT face opposite ways.

The designer's name FITZE is in the central circle, around below left.

The outer ring is decorated with small confetti.

Obverse Inscription BASLER FASNACHT
Switzerland / Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel - reverse photo

The reverse shows the value and denomination 5 FR at the centre of the inner circle. Below it, the date 2000. The mint mark B of Swissmint (ex Bern Mint) is below the date.

Around the inner circle, the legend CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA (translated from Latin: Confederation of Switzerland).

The outer ring is decorated with small confetti.

Reverse Inscription 5 FR CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA 2000
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

Mintage consists of 170,000 coins in uncirculated grade and 20,000 proofs. Some were issued in the year's uncirculated and proof mint sets and some were distributed individually.

Another bimetallic 5 Francs coin was issued in 2000 to mark the 150th Anniversary of Swiss currency.

Issued in Set
Schweizer Münzen Stempelglanz / Monnaies suisses Fleur de coin - Swissmint 2000, mintage 18,000
9 coins: 5 Fr. Burkhard, 5 Fr. Carnival of Basel, 2 Fr., 1 Fr., 1/2 Fr., 20 c., 10 c., 5 c., 1 c.
Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel: Known varieties
Variety Proof
Mintage Issued: 20,000 (included in total)

Proof coins ("PP" from "Polierte Platte" in German) distributed individually or in the main mint sets of the year (there was a special set with a different 5 Fr. bimetallic coin).

In Set Schweizer Münzen Polierte Platte / Monnaies suisses Flan bruni - Swissmint 2000, mintage 5,500
9 coins: 5 Fr. Burkhard, 5 Fr. Carnival of Basel, 2 Fr., 1 Fr., 1/2 Fr., 20 c., 10 c., 5 c., 1 c.
Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel: References to Information Used
Swissmint 2017 Mint link
Swissmint 2017 Mintage link
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel: Details
CurrencySwiss Franc
Coin TypeFive Francs, Bimetallic
Face Value5 (x Franc)
Total Mintage190,000
DesignerHans-Rudolf Fitze
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size33.000 mm
Mass15.000 g
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Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel: Photos
Coin, Switzerland, 5 Francs 2000
Coin, Switzerland, 5 Francs 2000
Five Francs 2000 Carnival of Basel: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Schön, WeltmünzkatalogSweiz Schön# 87
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSwitzerland KM# 89