Paper Money

Switzerland issues a new note in award-winning series

A 200-franc bank note, the fourth of the six notes in Switzerland’s new ninth currency series, was issued on Aug. 22. 

As with all notes in the award-winning series, the theme is “the many facets of Switzerland,” with each denomination concentrating on what the Swiss National Bank calls “a typically Swiss characteristic.” That trait is then illustrated with a variety of devices, some of which are somewhat radical to a fancier of traditional currency design.


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In the case of the 200-franc note, the featured characteristic is Switzerland’s scientific expertise. Central to the design on the face of all the new Swiss notes are a hand and a globe. The brown and blue-green, 70- by 151-millimeter note uses “matter” as its key motif. The bank explains that, on the face of the note, the fingers of the hand describe three axis coordinates to represent the spatial dimensions in which matter expands. The earth’s land masses during the late Cretaceous period are shown over the globe. The security strip features an abstract map of the geological ages of Switzerland, as well as a time line showing some of the stages in the formation of the universe. 

A particle collision in the top half of the center of the back of the note expresses the key motif, and also symbolizes the international importance of Swiss scientific activities. The image of a particle detector stands for Switzerland’s role as a research hub. 

The note is printed on a three-layer substrate called Durasafe. Both sides have a vertical orientation.

Already issued in the ninth series are the 50-, 20-, and 10-franc notes. All notes are smaller in size than their predecessors. 

The International Bank Note Society gave its Banknote of the Year award to the 10-franc note in 2017, and did the same for the 50-franc note in 2018. 

The current, eighth, series of bank notes remains legal tender until further notice. 

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