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Swiss Franc

Currency Name :Swiss Franc
Currency Symbol :Fr.
Web Site :Swiss Mint
Denominations :Banknotes: 10 francs, 20 francs, 50 francs, 100 francs, 200 francs and 1000 francs. Coins: 5 centimes, 10 centimes, 20 centimes, 50 centimes or franc, 1 franc, 2 francs and 5 francs.

The history of the Swiss Franc

The Swiss Franc is the national currency for both Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The much smaller Principality of Liechtenstein does however retain the ability to mint its own currency, the Liechtenstein Frank, which it does occasionally for commemorative or emergency purposes.

The Swiss Franc is known as a 'hard currency'. The franc holds this reputation as, until May 2000 fiscal laws required a 40 per cent gold cover for currency in circulation. This enabled the currency to remain very stable, thus making Swiss banks more attractive to international investors.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the Swiss franc was unregulated and as such was considered to be a highly variable and complicated currency. Before the currency was regulated in 1850 by the Swiss Federal Constitution, the country had 75 entities and 25 cantons - all of which produced their own individual coins. The situation was further complicated by private banks distributing their own banknotes, thus adding to the lack of uniformity amongst the currency.

The introduction of the Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 and the Federal Coinage Act of 1850 ensured that only the Federal government could distribute currency and that the Franc became the nationally recognised currency.

It would not be until 1907 when the first Swiss banknotes would be printed. Since then, eight different series of banknotes have been distributed. The notes differ in size, colour and design so as to distinguish the value of the notes. The banknotes also feature the four national languages of Switzerland: German, Romansh, French, and Italian.

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