Paper Money

Switzerland releases first new series of secure notes

The first design in Switzerland’s new bank note series, a 50-franc note, was put into circulation by the Swiss National Bank on April 12. It has been more than 20 years since the last bank note series and the new notes, more modern and more secure than the ones they replace, represent a security overhaul since, as the bank says, the “world has undergone a technological quantum leap.”

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The entire series is designed by Manuela Pfrunder and printed by Orell Füssli Security Printing Ltd. using an innovative, three-layer banknote substrate called Durasafe that is different from polymer. The six-note series will be introduced at six-month to one-year intervals and is scheduled to be completed in 2019. 

Its unifying theme is “the many facets of Switzerland.” A hand and a globe will appear as central elements of each note. The 50-franc note focuses on the wealth of experiences that Switzerland offers and is expressed by the wind, the note’s key motif. The wind holds a paraglider aloft in the mountains and carries the seed of a dandelion, which is held in the hand. The arrows on the globe show the direction of the winds that connect Switzerland with other regions and continents. The arrows are also in the background on the face of the note. The mountain peaks and contour lines represent the country’s varied landscapes. Mountains also appear on the security strip, which shows the Alps and lists the names of the main 13,000-foot peaks in the Swiss Alps, from A for Aletschhorn to Z for Zumsteinspitze.

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