Helvetic Republic, 16 Francs 1800


Helvetic Republic, 16 Francs 1800 (obverse) Helvetic Republic, 16 Francs 1800 (reverse)

In spring of 1798 French troops marched into Switzerland and forced the Swiss cantons into a centralized state. During the Helvetic Republic (1798-1803), the fragmented coinage of Switzerland was standardized.

The French introduced the modern decimal system used in France in Switzerland, although in a slightly different form. The new Swiss currency was to be based on the old coin standard of Berne. Hence in Switzerland, 4 Swiss francs and 40 batzen respectively added up to one Swiss taler – just like in old Berne, where a taler had been worth 40 batzen. At the same time the golden duplone was retained from the old Bernese system; it equaled 16 old Swiss francs.


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