20 Francs Vreneli (Switzerland)
The 20 Swiss Francs Vreneli coin is a gold coin of 900 fineness (or 90% pure gold content), containing 5.806 grams of pure gold which is strengthened by copper for a total weight of 6.451 grams. Released initially in 1897, these coins feature Fritz Landry’s design of Helvetia, or the ‘Swiss Miss’, on the obverse side and the Swiss coat of arms on the reverse side. These coins are particularly well known throughout Europe and therefore provide the investor with a portfolio that can be easily liquidated.
Detailed coin description
The obverse of the coin, designed by Fritze Ulysse Landry, features Helvetia, or the ‘Swiss Miss’, who is the female national personification of Switzerland. This Latin name is inscribed at the top of the coin, and derives from the name of the Helvetii, who were the Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau in the Roman era. Featured below the writing is the woman herself with plaited hair, depicted in front of a mountainous Swiss background. She wears a dress adorned with Edelweiss, the national flower of Switzerland. The coin, on both sides, features a pearl circle around the outside.
The reverse of the coin features the Swiss coat of arms superimposed over oak branches with ribbons which are symbolic of strength, stability, and longevity. The coin’s face value, 20 FR, is inscribed on either side of this image with the date of issue and mint mark ‘B’ appearing below the image.
The side of the coin represents a clear indication of the difference between the original coins and the restruck coins: whereas the originals are decorated with 22 stars, the restruck coins are inscribed with the words AD LEGEM ANNI MCMXXXI, which translates as ‘according to the law of 1931’.
The Vreneli is the most common variety of the Swiss franc as they were minted in greater quantities than the 10 franc and 100 franc coins. They were primarily produced by the Swiss Mint in Bern between 1897 and 1949. However, these coins were minted in a decentralised manner meaning that other mints, such as the Paris or Strasbourg mints, were responsible for the production of some of the coins. The majority of the production occurred from 1897-1935 during which time roughly 58.6 million of these coins were produced.
The 20 Swiss Franc Vreneli gold coin would be a valuable addition to the investor’s or the hobbyist’s collection. The coin is appealing both because of its history as well as its security as an investment, and is made particularly attractive because of its popularity among European gold investors. Further, the affordability of these coins results in many gold investors purchasing 1-2 Vrenelis per month as an affordable and convenient method of building up a gold portfolio over time. The classic Swiss design and historical appeal make the 20 Franc Vreneli gold coin a perfect investment.