World Coins

Swissmint explores ‘energy of future’ with new hydropower 20-franc coin

Switzerland’s newest Proof silver 20-franc coin features color and glow-in-the-dark technology, to celebrate the theme of Energy of the Future: Hydropower.

All images courtesy of Swissmint.

Switzerland relies on hydropower for nearly 60% of its energy annually, and gets three-fourths of all energy from renewable resources, according to

That reliance on renewable energy inspires a new series of Proof silver 20-franc coins from Swissmint.

Swissmint on Sept. 9 issued the first coin in the three-coin “Energy of the Future” series, celebrating the theme of hydropower. The energy of the future, it turns out, is some of the energy employed today.

The coin is the first Swiss coin to feature color or glow-in-the-dark fluorescence.

Importance of theme

“Energy is a precious commodity and an indispensable part of our everyday lives,” Swissmint said, in a press release. “A sustainable energy supply plays an important role in this. The basis for these alternative forms of energy is provided by natural resources, such as water, wind and sun.”

Hydropower is one of the oldest energy sources in the world, already in use more than 5,000 years ago. It offers an efficient, climate- and environment-friendly form of electricity generation.

Energy in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the hydropower plant network consists of run-of-river power plants (usually consisting of a dam inset in a flowing body of water, e.g. river power plants), storage power plants (hydropower plants with natural or artificial water storage reservoirs) and pumped storage power plants (consisting of two water basins located at different heights, as at Grimsel).

In total, 677 plants are in operation throughout the country, producing an average of around 36,741 gigawatt hours of electricity per year and thereby supplying 56 percent of Switzerland’s power needs.

The obverse of the 2021 coin includes the legend WASSER (water) and ENERGIE (power/energy), followed by the French and Italian designations “eau” and “acqua”; just below that, turbine components and data on water consumption in Switzerland are depicted. The lower half of the image shows an abstract color image of flowing water and possibly ice floes.

The common reverse notes the country of issue and denomination.

The design was created by Swissmint engraver Benjamin Löbbert.

The coin is available in a presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity

It will be followed by a Solar Energy coin in 2022 and a Wind Power coin in 2023.

To learn more, or order the coin, visit the Swissmint website,

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