Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest.
The fashion of depicting the Swiss Confederacy in terms of female allegories arises in the 17th century. This replaced an earlier convention, popular in the 1580s, of representing Switzerland as a bull (Schweizer Stier).
On federal Swiss coinage, Helvetia was first represented seated, then in a re-design during the 1870-ies Karl Schwenzer introduced Libertas on the centime denominations and this portrait of Helvetia on the 5 Francs denomination. It was only issued until 1916, when the obverse was changed to the current design by Paul Burkhard.
Portrait of Helvetia in silver
The portrait of Helvetia was only used on silver 5 Fr. coins between 1888 and 1916.
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1888||25,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1888|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1889||225,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1889|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1890||305,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1890|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1891||150,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1891|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1892||190,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1892|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1894||34,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1894|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1895||46,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1895|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1896||2,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1896|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1900||33,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1900|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1904||40,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1904|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1907||277,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1907|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1908||200,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1908|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1909||120,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1909|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1912||11,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1912|
|Switzerland||Five Francs 1916||22,000||CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA * 1916|