PMG's Featured Note of the Month: Switzerland, National Bank 1,000 Franken

Posted on 10/17/2023

With Halloween approaching, take a closer look at one of the spookiest banknotes around.

Switzerland, National Bank 1957 1,000 Franken graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ
Click images to enlarge.

Country: Switzerland

Catalog Number: 52b

Date: 1957

Denomination: 1,000 Franken

Varieties: The PMG Population Report shows 13 varieties for issued notes (with suffixes a to m, which indicate the year on the banknote, beginning in 1954 and ending in 1974) as well as 52as for Specimens dated 1954 and 52s for undated Specimens.

What makes it special? The back of the banknote shows a scene with the Danse Macabre, a medieval allegory about how death affects everyone, regardless of age or social status. (The 1,000 Franken note is the highest denomination ever issued by Switzerland.) The devastating plagues of the Middle Ages are believed to have popularized the Danse Macabre, which was performed in plays and portrayed in art in various locations, including a historic bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland. The word macabre (meaning grim) derives from the Danse Macabre, which typically shows skeletons dancing with people.

Did you know? This Danse Macabre portrayal was created by artist Pierre Gauchat, who also designed scenes in a similar artistic style for three other Swiss notes used in the 1950s, '60s and '70s: Fountain of Youth on the 500 Franken, St. Martin of Tours on the 100 Franken and an apple harvest on the 50 Franken.

Total graded by PMG: As of late September 2023, the PMG Population Report includes 181 issue examples of Pick# 52a through Pick# 52m, including 20 examples of Pick# 52b. The Population Report also records 32 Specimen examples, nearly all of them undated.

PMG median grade: PMG 58 Choice About Uncirculated for issued notes; PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated for Specimens

PMG highest graded: The PMG Population Report lists one example of Pick# 52i in PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.

Sales highlights: An example of Pick# 52b graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ realized $1,140 in January 2022 through Heritage Auctions, while an example of Pick# 52a graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ realized $3,720 at a Heritage sale in April 2022.

PMG Registry: This note is part of theSwitzerland Complete, 1907-Date, P1-Date, Complete, Including Varieties category, where PMG-certified examples of Pick# 52b, 52f, 52l and 52m appear in Banknoten's Switzerland set. The note is also part of the Swiss National Bank 1954-1961 Issue, P45-P52 category, where a PMG-certified example of Pick# 52l is part of Banknoten's Swiss National Bank 1954-1961 Issue, P45-P52 set.

Previous Notes of the Month:

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