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Swiss Mint Issues New Commemorative Coins: “50 Years of Women’s Right to Vote” and “Illusion – The Bridge of Life”

Swiss Mint Issues New Commemorative Coins: "50 Years of Women’s Right to Vote" and "Illusion – The Bridge of Life"

By Federal Mint Swissmint ……

On April 29, 2021, the Federal Mint Swissmint will launch two new commemorative coins. With the gold coin “50 years of Swiss women’s right to vote”, Swissmint is commemorating the introduction of votes for women at the federal level. “The Bridge of Life”, one of Sandro Del-Prete’s best-known works, adorns the silver coin.

50 years of Swiss women’s right to vote: 50-franc gold coin

Women’s efforts to achieve equal political rights date back to the 19th century. After a long battle, women’s suffrage (the right to vote and take part in elections) was finally introduced in Switzerland by a national vote on February 7, 1971, and formally took effect on March 16, 1971.

Fifty years ago, the electorate voted to give women the right to vote and take part in elections at the federal level, with a clear majority of 66%. In the subsequent National Council elections in October 1971, 11 women were elected. Over the years that followed, the proportion of women in the National Council grew steadily and currently stands at 42%.

On February 7, 2021, the introduction of women’s suffrage at the federal level had its 50th anniversary. Swissmint is commemorating this important milestone in Swiss political history with a 50-franc gold coin, created by Karin Widmer, a graphic designer from Wabern near Bern.

Illusion – The Bridge of Life: 20-franc silver coin

The world of illusion is the artistic representation of impossible objects, optical illusions, and double images. Various painters and artists use these optical techniques (trompe l’oeil) to create unusual and surprising effects for the observer in a bid to evoke amazement and astonishment.

The Swiss artist Sandro Del-Prete from Hettiswil near Hindelbank is an important representative of drawings and objects involving optical illusions. The design on the 20-franc silver coin was based on his oil painting The Bridge of Life.

Describing this work, he said:

“The people are perpetually moving forward, towards the observer, and are never seen from behind. They are always heading towards the end of life. As no one gets younger as time passes, no one can be seen from behind either. This contains and illustrates one of the secrets of the universe: Where is the past? Where is the present? Where is the future?”

The two new commemorative coins are available from April 29, 2021 as limited editions at www.swissmintshop.admin.ch, as well from some coin dealers and banks.

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About the Federal Mint Swissmint

The Federal Mint Swissmint produces Switzerland’s coins for use in everyday payment transactions. The Federal Mint also regularly issues commemorative coins and coinage of a higher standard for the numismatic market. Commemorative coins in bimetal, silver, or gold bear an official, state-guaranteed, nominal value and are available in various minting qualities.

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