Switzerland’s first special coins with circulation value

To mark the Wehranleihe (War Bond) issued in 1936 to raise money for the Swiss military, the Federal Council issued the first special coin in 0.835 silver with a face value of CHF 5. Further issues of coins on various themes followed at irregular intervals until 1963. Aimed primarily at collectors, they were also intended to raise money for the state coffers.

Historical special coins without circulation value were also often minted in the past. The more fragmented the monetary system, the more frequently special coins were issued, with the approval of the federal government. Some of these had the same legal value throughout Switzerland as the 5-franc piece. They could therefore be used for payment purposes, within certain limits. However, their monetary function was by no means the primary focus of these coins, and few of them ended up in general circulation. As special coins, they were primarily intended for collectors. Indeed, the federal government did not want them to find their way back into the state coffers, as this made minting them more profitable. special coins were usually referred to as talers.

Celebrating current and historical milestones
From 1936 to 1963, the Confederation issued 5-franc special coins at irregular intervals. Made of 0.835 silver with a diameter of 31mm, they featured the following motifs.

The special coins made of 0.835 silver with a face value of CHF 5 were withdrawn from circulation as legal tender by a Federal Council decree of 1 April 1971.

1936 Wehranleihe (War Bond)

1939 600th anniversary of the Battle of Laupen

1941 Bundesfeier (650th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation)

1944 500th anniversary of the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs

1948 100th anniversary of the Swiss Federal Constitution

1936 100th anniversary of the Red Cross

100 Jahre Schweizermünzen, Dr. Gaston Jaquemet
100 Jahre schweizerisches Münzwesen 1850 – 1950, Dr. F. X. Weissenrieder
Geld – Schweizer Münzen und Banknoten als unbestechliche Zeitzeugen, Johannes Müller

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