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.
This second version, designed by Albert Walch and engraved by Antoine Bovy, replaced the earlier design of Helvetia Seated in 1874.
It features Helvetia standing on a platform, her head facing to the left. In her right hand (at the left), she holds a lance, and with her left (at the right), she props up a shield with the Swiss Cross at centre; thin vertical lines in the background of the shield are the heraldic representation of the red colour of the Swiss flag. In exergue is the legend HELVETIA.
On all coins made from 1874 to 1982, there are 22 five-pointed stars along the rim of the coin, going from the lower left to lower right boundaries of the obverse. These represent the 19 full Swiss cantons of the time and the six half-cantons, which are collectively represented by the three remaining stars. However, when the Canton of Jura broke away from Bern in 1979, the number of stars was no longer accurate. As a result, a new star was added to the right of Helvetia's likeness in 1983. On examples of all dates, the tip of Helvetia's lance extends to the rim and separates the ninth and tenth stars in the sequence. Nine of the stars are engraved up to the lance, two between the lance and Helvetia's face, and 11 or 12 to the right of the central allegorical figure, depending on the year of issue.
The engraver's signature, A.BOVY INCT. (an abbreviation for the Latin text "Antoine Bovy incidit", meaning "engraved by Antoine Bovy), is located around below, displayed counter-clockwise in small letters. It is split in two by the legend: "A.BOVY" appears to the left of "HELVETIA", and "INCT." to the right.