World Coins

Swiss Mint issues silver 20-franc honoring yodeling

No cultural custom may be associated with the Swiss people more than yodeling.

The custom is the subject of Swissmint’s newest silver commemorative coin.

The 2017 .825 fine silver 20-Swiss-franc coin was released to honor the 30th Swiss Yodelling Festival held in Brig-Glis, which is scheduled from June 22 to 25. 

Legitimate gold coin resistance from the U.S. MintGold coin resistance at U.S. Mint and a deceptive but detectable counterfeit Indian Head cent: Another column in the June 12 Coin World details the discovery of what seemed to be a rare 1917 French Indo-China 10-cent piece.

Some 15,000 performers and more than 150,000 visitors are expected in the main town in Upper Valai. During four days, they will witness performances by yodel choirs, individual yodelers, alp-horn players and flag throwers. 

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The original “natural” yodel was a form of communication in mountainous and inaccessible regions and was also used during cattle drives. A yodel or “jutz” is a melody sung using nonlexical vocables, i.e. sounds that are not words, with frequent repeated changes in pitch between the chest register and the head register (falsetto). In Switzerland and other Alpine countries, yodeling developed into song in the 19th century, usually as the choruses of folk songs. 

The yodel song, now performed with two-, three- or four-part harmonies and usually accompanied by a Swiss accordion, is the genre most favoured by yodelers in the Swiss Yodelling Association. 

This association was formed in 1910. Its members take part in regional and cantonal competitions each year as well as participating in the Swiss Yodelling Festival held every three years. The association comprises alphorn blowers and flag throwers in addition to the yodelers. Further information is available at

The coin was designed by graphic designer Gabriel Giger.

The obverse features the common or standard design showing the Swiss cross and denomination.

The reverse foreground depicts a man and woman yodeling, in the typical hands-in-pockets yodeler’s pose; festival participants in alphorn playing and flag throwing are seen in the background.

Two versions are available, both weighing 20 grams and measuring 33 millimeters in diameter.

A Brilliant Uncirculated version’s mintage is limited to 30,000 coins, and the Proof version has a limit of 5,000 pieces.

Pricing was not available at press time.

Visit the Swiss Mint website.

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