Ten Francs 1910 Pattern, Coin from Switzerland - detailed information

Ten Francs 1910 Pattern, Coin from Switzerland (withdrawn 1936)
CoinTen Francs 1910 Pattern

The Ten 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: 10 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, a 20 francs gold coin was introduced, with a design like the 5 francs coin at the time. 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 Neuch√Ętel 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 produced from 1911 to 1922, with a total issue of 2.6 million. 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rose above their face value; however, they have never been formally demonetised, even though they were effectively withdrawn from circulation after 27 September 1936.

In 1910, only a handful of patterns (marked as Essai in French) were struck. Swissmint says that a total of 56 such patterns were made, some in 1910 and some in 1911 (how many in each year is unknown).

MintBern Mint Mint MarkLetter B Total Mintage56, Rarity: R4 (15 to 25 examples known)
Switzerland / Ten Francs 1910 Pattern - obverse photo

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 left.

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

Obverse Inscription HELVETIA
Switzerland / Ten Francs 1910 Pattern - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse has the Swiss Cross on top as a radiate Sun (with rays of light going out from it in all directions).

Below, divided by the rays, the value and denomination 10 FR, below which centrally the date 1910.

Under a decoration in the form of a sprig of alpine flowers, the mint mark B of the Federal Mint of Switzerland (ex Bern Mint, now known as Swissmint).

Around left, the inscription ESSAI identifies the coin as a pattern.

Reverse Inscription 10 FR 1910
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

Mintage includes the patterns struck in 1911.

Ten Francs 1910 Pattern: Known varieties
Variety Plain edge
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total). Rarity: R6 (4 to 8 examples known)
Ten Francs 1910 Pattern: References to Information Used
Swissmint Mint link
Swissmint Mintage link
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Ten Francs 1910 Pattern: Details
CurrencySwiss Franc
Coin TypeTen Francs, Gold (Vreneli)
ReverseSwiss Cross
Face Value10 (x Franc)
Total Mintage56, Rarity: R4 (15 to 25 examples known)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1936
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerFritz Ulysse Landry
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.0000 mm
Mass3.2258 g
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Ten Francs 1910 Pattern: Photos
10 Francs 1910 Essai, Switzerland
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
10 Francs 1910 Essai, Switzerland
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Ten Francs 1910 Pattern: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSwitzerland KM# Pn40, Pn41 (plain edge)