«The Fascination of Gold»

Swiss Confederation, 10 Francs (Vreneli) 1911

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Swiss Confederation, 10 Francs (Vreneli) 1911 (obverse) Swiss Confederation, 10 Francs (Vreneli) 1911 (reverse)

In 1865, Switzerland founded the Latin Monetary Union together with France, Italy and Belgium; three years later Greece joined as well. The five union members agreed to mint their coins according to the same binding standards; in return the coins of every one of these countries were legal tender in the other union states. For the time being, this guaranteed the needed money supply for the Swiss Confederation: around 1900, 80 percent of the coins circulating in Switzerland came from one of the union partners. In 1911, the first golden 10-franc-coin was minted according to union standards. It was a so-called "Vreneli:" the bust of a young woman – the Vreneli – in a dress embroidered with edelweiss flowers; her hair flies in the wind and in the background, the mountains rise majestically. The designer of the Vreneli-coins was the engraver Fritz Landry.

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