Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel, Coin from Switzerland - detailed information

Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel, Coin from Switzerland (withdrawn 1936)
CoinTwenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel

The Twenty 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: 20 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, the first 20 francs gold coin was introduced, with a design like the 5 francs coin at the time.

Twelve years earlier though, this pattern was struck - with a reverse design compatible with the obverses of small denominations of the time, and a new obverse. It was not accepted though, and later a different design was selected for circulation.

The author of the pattern - Edouard Durussel (1842-1888) - was born in Switzerland. He trained at the Royal Mint, London for three years. He worked as an engraver in Paris from 1865 to 1867. In 1869 he returned to in Bern in Switzerland, where he established a die-sinking business, mainly producing medals.

MintBern Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage30, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Obverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel - obverse photo

The obverse features, within a beaded circle, a new interpretation of Helvetia - the female personification of Switzerland. It is represented by the portrait of a young woman, facing left, with wavy hair, a garland of edelweiss flowers in her hair, wearing a diadem and a necklace.

Below the neck truncation, the author's name DURUSSEL.

All around, 22 stars represent the cantons of Switzerland at the time. Around below, the date: 1871.

Obverse Inscription 1871
Reverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel - reverse photo

The reverse features, within a beaded circle, the Swiss Coat of Arms. It is rendered like that on the Twenty Centimes, Ten Centimes and Five Centimes - and is quite different from that on the One Centime and Two Centimes denominations circulating at the same time but designed by Alexander Hutter). In the background, two crossed branches - edelweiss flowers on the left, oak on the right.

Around above, the legend HELVETIA (the Latin name of Switzerland). Below, the the value and denomination: 20 F..

There is no mint mark.

Reverse Inscription HELVETIA 20 F.
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Mintage is estimated.

Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Swissmint Mintage link
All (44) Coins of Country: Switzerland, Type: Twenty Francs, Gold
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Voigt 200 Coat of Arms of Switzerland HELVETIA 1871
Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel 30 Coat of Arms of Switzerland HELVETIA 20 F.
Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern 1,080 Helvetia, Seated HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1883 250,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1886 250,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1887 176 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1888 4,224 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1889 100,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1890 125,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1891 100,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1892 100,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1893 100,025 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1894 120,600 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1895 200,019 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1896 400,000 Libertas by Albert Walch CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Twenty Francs 1897 400,029 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1898 400,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1899 300,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1900 400,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1901 500,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1902 600,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1903 200,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1904 100,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1905 100,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1906 100,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1907 150,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1908 355,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1909 400,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1910 375,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1911 350,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1912 450,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1913 700,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1914 700,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1915 750,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1916 300,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1922 2,783,678 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1925 400,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1926 50,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1927 5,015,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1930 3,371,764 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1935 175,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1935 L-B 20,008,813 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1947 9,200,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
Twenty Francs 1949 10,000,000 Vreneli HELVETIA
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Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Coin TypeTwenty Francs, Gold
Issued1871
SymbolVreneli
ReverseCoat of Arms of Switzerland
Face Value20 (x Franc)
Total Mintage30, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1936
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerEdouard Durussel
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size21.000 mm
Mass6.452 g
OCC IDYRVP-EVRC-NVPW-EDQG
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Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel: Photos
ImageDetails
Switzerland 20 Francs Gold 1871 Pattern Durussel
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Source
Switzerland 20 Francs Gold 1871 Pattern Durussel
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Source
Twenty Francs 1871 Pattern by Durussel: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSwitzerland KM# Pn19