I. R. Bama's Blog

24 Jan 2021

Swiss 20 Franc Vreneli Gold Coin

| I. R. Bama

Like its contemporary, the French Gold Rooster 20 Franc coin was another issue from Switzerland that was standard in gold content along with the Austrian 20 Franc/ 4 Florin of Austria, the 20 Drachma coin of Greece, the 20 Albert Belgian coin, the 20 Peseta coin of Span and the 20 Lire of Italy. The standardization for trade came from these member nations of the Latin Monetary Union, the historical antecedent to the European Union monetary system. These coins were all standard in relation to each other in order to facilitate trade between the countries.

It contains 0.1867 oz. of 0.900 fine gold. It is 21 mm in diameter and 1.3 mm in thickness. It weighs 5.8 grams. Its edge is incused with "DOMINUS XXX PROVIDEBIT XXXXXXXXXX" (God Provides). There are two varieties, the earlier Libertas and the Vreneli. The Vreneli was struck from 1897 to 1935, again in 1947 and 1949.

The obverse features the image of Vreneli. Vreneli is the diminutive of the name Verena and is symbolic of Swiss Feminine youth. She is analogous to France's Marianne and our own Lady Liberty. She wears her hair braided with a garland of flowers and in the background are the Swiss Alps. Above her head is the word Helvetia ( Switzerland) and this coin is also referred both as a Vreneli or a Helvetia. The name of the designer, F. Landry is located at the bottom of the obverse in the 6 O' Clock position.

The reverse of the coin features the Swiss Shield and a garland of oak leaves tied with a ribbon behind it. My particular coin is dated 1914, also located on the reverse. All examples were minted in Bern and the mintmark is found on the reverse. Interestingly, the coin was designed by Fritz Landry, a well known sculpturist and designer of medals, of Neufchatel, Switzerland. The dies for the coin were cut at the Monaie De Paris (the Paris Mint), but all examples were minted in Bern.





Krause Catalogue

Images: I R.Bama collection



Level 5

Thanks for posting buddy! Having spent a lot of time in Europe myself, I should of been looking at coins instead of whatever it was I was doing.... :-)) Very nice looking coin for sure! I didn't go to the mint in Paris, but I did take my "best friend" there for our honey moon! Thanks again for sharing!


Level 5

Remarkable coin! Some of those Swiss coins look really great. Thanks for sharing!


Level 5

nice coin!


Level 7

I enjoyed that very much. It takes allot for me to like a foreign coin but it's done so well I read it twice. . It's a beauty of a coin. Thank you very much for the research and history. Excellent work.


Level 5

Beautiful coin. I am not into the foreign coins, but should look at them more often. Thanks for posting.


Level 5

I loves history and coinage, it's amazing how so many countries had die work and/or actual minting done at the Paris mint in those days. Beautimus coin! Good research and references. Later!


Level 6

Really beautiful coin! Great research ; )


Level 6

A beautiful mate for your Rooster. Very nice. Great history. I like your research and source list. Very well done. Thanks.

walking liberty

Level 4

dang i wish i had a coin like that!


Level 5

Very beautiful! Thank you for the information on this piece. I love the classic French busts they put on their coins. They have a way of sticking out from the crowd. Cya 'Round!

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