The First World War began to loom on the horizon long before its outbreak on July 28, 1914. Hence the European states had enough time to prepare. The Swiss government issued means of payment ahead that could simply be thrown into circulation when the time arrived. Nevertheless in the days before the actual commencement of the War, Switzerland experienced a monetary crisis as many people began to amass coins. As a result the Swiss Council lifted the obligation of the National Bank to exchange bankontes against precious metals. In this way, paper money gained effective significance during the First World War for the first time. Toward the end of the War, Switzerland additionally decided the issue of coins from brass. Nickel, which had hitherto been used for minor coins, had become scarce, as it was needed for armament. In 1923, however, the brass coins were withdrawn from circulation and replaced by nickel coins once again.