Paper Money

Swiss National Bank releases final issue in ninth note series

The Swiss National Bank released its new 100-franc note into circulation on Sept. 12, completing the country’s ninth bank note series. 

The first denomination in the new series, the 50-franc note, entered circulation April 13, 2016, followed at six- or 12-month intervals by the 20-, 10-, 200- and 1,000-franc notes. Work on the new series began in 2005, meaning the Swiss were able to develop an entire new series, with advanced security, in a span of just 15 years.

The ninth series maintains the same denominations and colors as the eighth series, but is slightly smaller to make the notes easier to handle. 

The new 100-franc note is blue in color and measures 7 millimeters by 144 millimeters.

The inspiration behind the new notes is “the many facets of Switzerland,” in which each denomination depicts a typically Swiss characteristic that is graphically illustrated using a range of elements. 

The 100-franc note focuses on Switzerland’s humanitarian tradition, represented by the key motif of water. As in each of the other denominations, a hand and globe are core design elements.

On this denomination, the hands scooping up water symbolize Switzerland’s humanitarian assistance, the globe is covered with isobars, and the security strip features a network of waterways and a list of the longest rivers in Switzerland. 

The illustration on the back is of an irrigation channel feeding glacial melt-water down a cliff face to the fields below. It is meant to reflect on one of humanity’s eternal challenges: finding a supply of water. The bank describes water treatment and distribution as integral to Switzerland’s humanitarian and development aid effort.

The entire series was designed by Manuela Pfrunder and printed by Orell Füssli Security Printing Ltd. Each note is printed on a three-layer substrate called Durasafe, consisting of two outer layers of cotton paper with a polymer core for reinforcement. The bank delineates 15 security features, including shimmery ink, a glittery thread, window cut-outs, ultraviolet elements and microtext. 

Switzerland remains a cash-centric society. A Swiss National Bank survey in 2018 disclosed that about 70 percent of payments in Switzerland are made with cash. Another bank study estimated that from 8 to 16% of all 100 franc notes are hoarded. 

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