Twenty Francs 1889, Coin from Switzerland - detailed information

Twenty Francs 1889, Coin from Switzerland (withdrawn 1936)
CoinTwenty Francs 1889

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.

When federal Swiss coinage was initially 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 (but with a slightly different shield on the reverse, and a different female personification on the obverse). 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 new depiction of Helvetia was introduced in 1897, known as the Vreneli design.

Coins of this first type are sometimes known as the Helvetia 20 Francs, even though the symbolic figure on them is Libertas.

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rose above their face value; however, they have never been formally demonetised, even though they were effectively withdrawn from circulation after 27 September 1936.

MintBern Mint Mint MarkLetter B Total Mintage100,000
Obverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1889 - obverse photo

Within a beaded border, the obverse design of the coin shows a depiction of Libertas - the female personification of Liberty - by Albert Walch. Libertas is seen in profile, facing left, with a garland of edelweiss flowers in her hair, wearing a diadem with the text LIBERTAS (Latin for Liberty) on it.

Around left and right, the legend CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA (translated from Latin: Confederation of Switzerland).

Obverse Inscription CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA
Reverse
Switzerland / Twenty Francs 1889 - reverse photo

The reverse design by Christian Bühler features, within a beaded border, the Coat of Arms of Switzerland being a Swiss Cross on a plain shield, with thin vertical lines in the background as a "heraldic colour" (tincture) signifying red. The shield is within a wreath of oak leaves and laurels; above the shield, a star.

The value 20 is to the left of the shield, and the denomination - abbreviated to FR - is to the right. Below that, the date: 1889.

Under the ribbon tying the wreath, the mint mark B of the Federal Mint of Switzerland (ex Bern Mint, now known as Swissmint).

Reverse Inscription 20 FR 1889
EdgeInscribed (lettering in relief)Edge InscriptionDOMINUS *** PROVIDEBIT **********
Twenty Francs 1889: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Swissmint Mint link
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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Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Twenty Francs 1889: Details
CountrySwitzerland
CurrencySwiss Franc
Coin TypeTwenty Francs, Gold (Libertas)
Issued1889
SymbolLibertas by Albert Walch
ReverseCoat of Arms of Switzerland
Face Value20 (x Franc)
Mintage100,000
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1936
Material0.900 Gold
DesignerChristian Bühler, Albert Walch
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size (mm)21
Mass (g)6.4516
OCC IDGAVP-EXAC-AVZD-OMDY
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Twenty Francs 1889: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin, Switzerland, Twenty Francs 1889
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Source
Coin, Switzerland, Twenty Francs 1889
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Source
Twenty Francs 1889: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsSwitzerland KM# 31.3