New Swiss Banknotes Showcase Landmarks and Boast New Security Features
Posted on 9/17/2019
Switzerland’s most recent series of notes has won multiple bank note of the year awards and has been nominated for other awards by the International Bank Note Society. The worldwide recognition illustrates that these are groundbreaking notes.
Switzerland's ninth banknote series was implemented in 2016, replacing the eighth series, which was issued in 1995.
Symbolism and security features are found throughout the new series.
The six new notes highlight key characteristics about Switzerland and each has a motif articulating further meaning. The motifs are Time, Light, Water, Matter and Language. These motifs help convey the following characteristics: organizational talent, creativity, experiences, humanitarianism, science and communication, respectively.
The 10 Franc note, for example, highlights organizational talent, conveying it with a motif of time. Switzerland has the densest railway network in the world, which is why it was chosen to convey time and organization. Hands depicted on the front of the note are those of a conductor with a baton keeping a symphony in time, and a globe shows time zones of the world. The back shows the rail network with small lines found all around the note. The line in the center represents Switzerland's longest railway tunnel in the world.
|Switzerland, National Bank, Pick# 75, 2016 (ND 2017), 10 Franken, front. Graded PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.Click image to enlarge.|
|Switzerland, National Bank, Pick# 75, 2016 (ND 2017), 10 Franken, back. Graded PMG 69 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.Click image to enlarge.|
The 1,000 Franc note highlights communication in Switzerland. The Swiss parliament in Bern, the capital, is depicted on the back. A globe displays phonetic symbols that help pronounce words in all languages.
The security strip shows languages found in regions throughout the nation. Switzerland has three official languages: German, French and Italian. The security strip also lists all the cantons of Switzerland. The cantons were sovereign states before Switzerland became a federal state in 1848. Even after a federal state was formed and all the cantons became a unified country, they still had their own laws and constitutions, much like the United States' system of states.
|Switzerland, National Bank, Pick Unlisted, 2017, 1000 Franken, frontPMG Graded 68 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.Click image to enlarge.|
|Switzerland, National Bank, Pick Unlisted, 2017, 1000 Franken, back. Graded PMG 68 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ.Click image to enlarge.|
The thoughtful design and intricate details of the note series are key reasons counterfeiting of Swiss notes is particularly low compared with other countries. In 2018, only 1,200 counterfeit notes were confiscated in Switzerland, showing that their elaborate design is proving to be a successful and artful way of deterring counterfeiting.
One interesting highlight of the series involves the globe on each note. As the series progresses, the globe turns. The 10 Franc globe shows the end of day for Switzerland and the 1,000 Franc note shows the start of day there. The globe also changes according to the motif, showing wind patterns for science and the phonetic alphabet for language.
Another interesting thing about the series is that it is accompanied by a Swiss Banknotes smartphone app that shows off a security feature using augmented reality technology making the notes seem to come to life. The video here shows the cool features of the app.
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