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A History of Swiss Money

We Swiss are famous for our banks. Whether we like our bank secret or not is a different question. Fact is that Switzerland has been a major banking center for quite a while now. Yet, the majority of Swiss bank accounts is pretty unspectacular. No secret entrances, elaborate identifying procedures or strange codes. The average Swiss citizen watches the numbers in his bank account grow and diminish and takes out some cash at the ATM. Some more daring people even invest their money in bonds or stocks.

Money can be very interesting though. Whereas in earlier times money was exclusively an instrument of payment, it nowadays has become a through and through elaborated and designed object. Safety measures for banknotes need to be renewed every so often. Many countries take that opportunity and not only improve the hidden security features but also subject the banknotes a complete redesign. This is especially true of the Swiss National Bank. Since 1907 there have been no less than eight (!) series of banknotes and the ninth series is just around the corner. Imagine, every 10 or 15 years we changed our banknotes. In comparison, the US hasn't changed the design of their banknotes in almost a century (they've added some security features though in more recent years)!

Since I am a fan of Swiss design and am sure you'll enjoy this as well, I will not deprive you of this little nostalgic journey back through the history of Swiss banknotes. I'll provide the pictures, you'll provide the stories, deal?!
1907 - 1st Series
1911 - 2nd Series
1918 - 3rd Series (feat. Willhelm Tell)
1938 - 4th Series
1956 - 5th Series
1978 - 6th Series
1984 - 7th Series (never issued)
1995 - 8th Series (in circulation)
2012 - 9th Series (to be printed)

Source: Swiss National Bank,



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