World Coins

Swiss Mint issues coin for Reformation anniversary

A 2017 Swiss 20-franc coin celebrates two reformers instrumental in the Protestant Reformation, which began 500 years ago.

Coin images courtesy of Swissmint.

The Protestant Reformation 500 years ago has left a lasting impact on the world. 

Swissmint marks the anniversary of the Reformation with a 2017 noncirculating, legal tender .835 fine silver 20-franc coin.

Starting in Wittenberg, 500 years ago Europe came under the grip of the Reformation, which led to cultural, social and political upheavals that still have an impact today.

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In Switzerland, due to the action of Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, the Reformation became an important catalyst in processes leading to the modern age, democracy, and human rights.

As in the rest of Europe, the anniversary of the Reformation is celebrated in Switzerland. But according to Swissmint, it is not a celebration of Martin Luther’s thesis, which according to tradition saw the light of day in Wittenberg in 1517. It is far more about the Reformation as a movement whose cultural, social and political potency still has an impact 500 years later.

“The main focus of the anniversary is the question of what the Reformation means for today’s generation and those of tomorrow, and not a return to a mystical date in time,” the mint said. “This brings the achievements of the Reformation into the spotlight without forgetting the drawbacks and puts it into the service of ecumenical commitment.”

The coin was designed by graphic artist Ben Pfäffli from Burgdorf. 

Zwingli and Calvin appear on the obverse of the coin, with an inscription announcing the anniversary.

The standard reverse carries the denomination, year and country of issue, and the Swiss cross. 

The coin weighs 20 grams and measures 33 millimeters in diameter.

Uncirculated and Proof versions are available. The Uncirculated version has a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces, with 2,000 available in a folder and the remainder in a blister pack. 

A limit of 5,000 Proof examples are available, each presented in a presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.

The Uncirculated coin in blister pack retails for 30 Swiss francs, and the Uncirculated coin in a folder is priced at 40 Swiss francs. The Proof version retails for 60 Swiss francs.

The coins are available for purchase at the Swiss Mint’s online shop,

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