Swiss Coin Newsletter

January 2012


New commemorative coins

The subject of this year's bimetallic 10 francs are the traditional cow fights (in French combats de reines, litterally "queen fights") in the canton of Valais.

Last year's second 20 francs issue shows the Pilatus Railway.

The new 20 francs silver coin continues the railway series and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Jungfrau Railway.

Because of the fluctuating silver price, last summer, the bullion value of the 20 franc coin exceeded its face value for a short period. (This will always be the case when the silver price reaches 37.25 CHF per ounce. The peak price in 2011 was 45.46 CHF). Swissmint reacted by rising the issue price to 30 francs. Now the silver price is below the critical value, but the issue price was only lowered to 25 francs, and the issue price for the 10 franc commemorative coins is now 15 francs.

Two more commemorative coins are announced for 2012: 20 francs silver "Globi" (a popular Swiss cartoon character) and 50 francs gold "100 years of Pro Juventute", a charitable organisation.

For a full list of Swiss commemorative coins, refer to the Wikipedia article Gedenkmünzen der Schweiz.

New circulating coins

Still, lots of freshly minted coins are found in circulation and and the mintage figures (see below) continue to be very high. All 2011 dated coins with exception of the 10 ct.have entered circulation by now.

2010 2011 2012
5 ct. 44'000'000 50'000'000 35'000'000
10 ct. 42'000'000 35'000'000 30'000'000
20 ct. 18'000'000 20'000'000 32'000'000
1/2 Fr. 27'000'000 15'000'000 20'000'000
1 Fr. 15'000'000 15'000'000 12'000'000
2 Fr. 9'000'000 7'000'000 11'000'000
5 Fr. 5'000'000 3'000'000 8'000'000

Swiss coin trivia

Once more, the trivia section's bottom line is that collecting types is not the same as collecting KM numbers. For some time, I thought I had a complete Swiss type collection (with the exception of the rarer gold coins). But then I discovered that I was wrong. I do have the rare 2 Fr. 1850 in uncirculated condition (one of the trophy pieces in my collection), but of course not the ultra rare 2 Fr. 1857 (which only shows up in auctions every few years and is certainly nothing for those with a small or mid-sized budget). The Krause catalog lists them both together as KM# 10. Allthough these two coins have the same fineness (0.900 as opposed to 0.800 for the 1860/62/63 issues KM# 10a), their design is different: The "2" in the value of the 1850 coin has a quite speical look, almost like a "9" with an underscore (still seen on all ½ Fr. coins until the present years). On the other hand, the 1857 coin shows a more regular "2", the same as on all later 2 Fr. coins. Furthermore, the 1857 displays "Korn" as the designer's name, just like KM# 10a, and unlike 1850, which bears the designer name "A. Bovy".

2 Fr. 18502 Fr. from 1857 onwards

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