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. 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 normal circulating 5 FR denomination was supplemented by circulating commemorative one-year type 5 Franc coins in silver and copper-nickel.
In 1999, Swissimint changed the concept and started striking non-circulating commemoratives for collectors only, which were bimetallic 5 Francs at first. 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, such as those listed below.
The 10 Francs are bimetallic and have the same dimensions as the bimetallic 5 Francs, but their colours are reversed: with an Aluminium Bronze outer ring (92% copper, 6% Aluminium, 2% Nickel) and a copper-nickel inner circle (75% copper, 25% nickel). They are issued in topical series, celebrating various aspects of Swiss heritage or nature.
The 2014 Ten Francs collector coin highlights the Gansabhauet Sursee tradition. It is part of the second series about Swiss customs (German: Schweizer Bräuche; French: Coutumes suisses); the first series was in the 5 Francs denomination.
The obverse of the coin is common with the other commemorative 10 Francs and is designed by Roland Hirter; the reverse is designed by Thyl Manuel Eisenmann.
Gansabhauet ("cutting down the goose from a rope") is an archaic tradition in the country town Sursee near Lucerne, central Switzerland. The yearly event takes place in front of the old town hall at Rathausplatz every year on Martini (St. Martin's day, November, 11th) at 3 pm. Young people try their skills and fortune cutting a goose from a rope. The tradition is related to the fact that interests and taxes were due on Martini day in the middle ages and farmers had to deliver 10% of their crops in town. Cutting a goose from a rope may sound trivial, but the rules of the game are as follows:
- participants have to wear a blindfold and a mask symbolizing the sun,
- the sword is not too sharp,
- every participant has one try only,
- there are about 80 participants and two geese only,
- the sequence of participants is drawn by lot.
Bimetallic 10 Franc coins are legal tender but are issued in small quantities for collectors only and do not circulate.