Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern, Coin from Switzerland - detailed information

Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern, Coin from Switzerland (withdrawn 1936)
CoinTwenty Francs 1873 Pattern

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.

Ten years earlier though, this pattern was struck - with a design like the earlier 5 Francs which had the Seated Helvetia figure on them. The design was by (?) Dorer from Baden, engraved by Leopold Wiener.

This Helvetia was not as peaceful - having a large sword in her right hand, instead of extending it in a peaceful gesture. The obverse was totally redesigned. This version was not accepted, so the coins issued later looked entirely different.

MintMint markTotal Mintage
Brussels Mint Angel's Head 1,000
Bern Mint No mint mark 80
Obverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern - obverse photo

The obverse features a seated figure of Helvetia, the female personification of the Confederation of Switzerland, sitting on a stone, with a cut oak trunk with a new offshoot in the background; with her left hand she holds a triangular shield resting on the ground which bears the Swiss Cross inside an oval; with her right hand she is holding a large sword.

22 stars around above symbolise the cantons of Switzerland at the time.

The legend HELVETIA is horizontally in the exergue. The engraver's name L WIENER is in small letters to her left.

Obverse Inscription HELVETIA
Reverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern - reverse photo

The reverse shows, within a beaded border, the value, a numeral 20, and a language-neutral abbreviation of the denomination, Fr. above the date 1873 within a wreath whose left part consists of laurels and the right part of oak branches. There are two small diamonds above and below.

What looks like a third diamond above is actually an "angel head", a mint mark of the Brussels Mint.

Reverse Inscription 20 Fr. 1873
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Mintage is estimated.

Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern: Known varieties
Variety No mint mark (Bern Mint)
Mintage Issued: 80 (included in total). Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Details

Some coins do not have the angel's head mint mark, indicating that they were struck at the Bern Mint.

Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern: 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 1873 Pattern: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Coin TypeTwenty Francs, Gold
Issued1873
SymbolHelvetia, Seated
Face Value20 (x Franc)
Total Mintage1,080
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1936
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerLeopold Wiener
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size21.000 mm
Mass6.452 g
OCC IDPMVR-OAPC-NPZX-ENQG
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Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern: Photos
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Coin, Switzerland, Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
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Coin, Switzerland, Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
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Twenty Francs 1873 Pattern: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSwitzerland KM# Pn24, Pn26 (no mint mark)