The 2016 Switzerland 10 Franc bimetallic coin features the Alpen Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum), the national flower of Switzerland. The edelweiss commonly grows in the Alpine regions of Switzerland, in rocky limestone surfaces at altitudes of 5,900 to 9,800 feet. The non-toxic plant is used in regional folk medicine as a remedy against an array of health issues, including respiratory and abdominal maladies.
The leaves and blooms on the plant are covered in white hairs, presenting a wooly appearance. Each bloom, meanwhile, consists of five or six small yellow spiked florets. These yellow clusters are surrounded by white petals that spread out from the central bloom in a double-star formation.
The plant’s white flowers have long symbolized desire, honesty, courage, purity, and beauty; the words edel and weiss translate into English as “noble” and “white”, respectively.
The edelweiss, which is protected in Switzerland, is culturally symbolic not just of the Alpine region but also of the people who live in that area of Europe. It is widely embraced in Alpine culture and has been referenced in countless books, movies, and television programs that take place in the Alps. Perhaps most famously, the name of the flower is incorporated into a show tune of the same name that appears in the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music; the story, set in the Swiss Alps, features a young woman who becomes the governess for a widower and his seven children during the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938.
The 10-franc bimetallic aluminum-bronze/copper-nickel coin on which the edelweiss appears is the first of a three-coin series called Flora Alpina. The coins, issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint, will honor the nation’s most iconic and important plants.
The obverse of the bimetallic coin features two edelweiss blooms. A flower on the left side of the coin highlights the appearance of the flower as seen from its side, while a second bloom more prominently seen on the right is face-on to the viewer. Its pedals spread across the upper-right segment of the coin.
The pedals of both coins, which originate from stalks that figure centrally in the coin’s copper-nickel inner core, extend into the coin’s aluminum-bronze outer ring. Along the bottom of the coin, between the four o’clock and eight o’clock positions on the aluminum-bronze ring, are the words FLORA ALPINA, which translates to Alpine flower. The only other inscription on the coin’s obverse, LEIBUNDGUT, is seen on the along the right center edge of the coin’s inner copper-nickel segment and refers to the coin’s designer, Jenny Leibundgut.
The reverse of the coin features a clean design dominated by inscriptions. Switzerland’s official name, CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA (Confederation Helvetica or Helvetic Confederation), is staggered in appearance across two lines of curved text, with CONFOEDERATIO appearing between the eight o’clock and one o’clock positions of the aluminum-bronze outer ring and HELVETICA arcing from the 12 o’clock to five o’clock points along the right edge of the copper-nickel inner core.
Also within the coin’s core are the iconic Swiss cross just under the “H” of HELVETICA and a large numeral “10”, which refers to the coin’s 10-franc face value. Just below the 10 is the “B” mintmark for the Bern Mint. Under the B mintmark in the outer ring are the letters FR, which references the coin’s 10-franc denomination. Near the five o’clock position in the outer ring is the coin’s date, 2016.
Designer(s): Jenny Leibundgut is an internationally-recognized Swiss graphic designer.
|Year Of Issue:
|30,000 (Uncirculated), 6,000 (Proof)
|Aluminum-Bronze Outer Ring: 92% Copper, 6% Aluminum, 2% Nickel; Copper-Nickel Inner Core: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
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