Swiss Gold Coins

 

We offer 20 Franc Swiss Gold coins, these are produced in 900.0 or 90% gold alloy.

Switzerland, neutral since its creation by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, has long been synonymous with stability and fiscal strength due to its practice of backing its currency with large quantities of gold.

Until 1936, gold coins were circulated in Switzerland. Whereas initially these were exclusively coins from the member states of the Latin Monetary Union, in 1883, the first Swiss gold coins featuring the head of Libertas were put into circulation as well. This was a reaction to a rebuke from France, whereby Switzerland was justifiably accused of ‘coinage parasitism’. As the gold rate was roughly equivalent to the face value of these coins, minting and issuing such coinage was unprofitable, and it was for this reason that Switzerland had refrained from producing its own gold coins for many years.

The best-known Swiss gold coin is the ‘Vreneli’ or Helvetia, as it is otherwise known, issued for the first time in 1897. Beforehand, however, a perturbed magistrate insisted that a curling lock of hair on the young girl’s brow (actually a portrayal of Helvetia) be removed, as this hairstyle was judged to give her an unseemly frivolous appearance.

In 1936 devaluation of the Swiss franc during the Great Depression caused the metal value of gold coins to exceed the face value, thereby causing the currency to lose its status as legal tender virtually overnight.

Owing to monetary policy and the mounting price of gold, however, these coins were never issued and are now part of the Swiss National Bank’s gold reserves. In the last years most of these coins were melted down into ingots.

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