Swiss Gold Coins.

Switzerland is known for more than just its delicious chocolate. A variety of gold coins are stored in banks within this country. The 20 franc is the most popular but ten francs and gold coins featuring other denominations have also been minted for collection purposes. Mintage was low for these denominations, making some quite valuable.

The Swiss 20 franc is the only Swiss gold coin issued in large quantities and available as a bullion coin. The Helvetia Liberty type was issued from 1883 to 1896 and the Vreneli type was produced from 1897 to 1935 and again between 1947 and 1949. Those who buy gold coins can purchase these for about a 15 percent premium.

Prior to 1848, most of the 23 Swiss cantons, or states, issued their own coins. These came in denominations like duplone, ducats, pistolet, ecus, franken, goldgulden, and their fractions and multiples. The 20 franc was issued from 1886 to 1949 and is currently the most popular. It weighs 6.4516 grams, has a 21-millimeter diameter, and contains 0.900 fine gold. The actual fine gold weight in troy ounces is 0.1867.

From 1911 to 1916 and in 1922, the ten-franc gold coin was produced, which is rarer than the 20 francs features an 18.5-millimeter diameter and weighs 3.2258 grams. Like the 20 francs, it contains 0.900 fine gold. Each ten franc has an actual fine gold weight of 0.0933 troy ounce. The design features the Vreneli head and a Swiss cross.

Shooting Thalers are cantonal coins provided as prizes at Swiss shooting festivals. Though these are near a denomination, most are not legal tender. They are all rare, with a mintage ranging from under 100 to a few thousand. In 1991, a commemorative gold 250 franc was produced to honor the 700th anniversary of the Confederation. The face value of the coin is greater than the intrinsic value of the gold content, a rare occurrence.

By Alexandre Laurent

Alexandre Laurentl is working in the jewelry and investment gold since 2002. Alexandre graduated from The Normandy School of Business and from the University of Perpignan a Bachelor of economics in 1995.

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