Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins

Home » Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins

Disclosure: Our content does not constitute financial advice. Speak to your financial advisor. We may earn money from companies reviewed.  Learn more

Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins are among the classiest of the small gold bullion issues. They boast a vibrant and interesting history that dates back nearly 150 years. All this time, these coins have represented Swiss sovereignty, independence, financial strength, and an actually gold backed-up currency. This 20 Franc Helvetia has always been legal tender produced by the Bern, Switzerland-located Swiss National Mint. With 90% gold content, the coin's balance metal composition is copper to provide the coin with durability and strength.


Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins Background and History

Switzerland is probably the only country that everyone knows will still be both in existence and prospering a hundred years from now. This makes its gold coins more powerful than those of any other sovereign territory in the world. In modern Swiss history, the Swiss National Mint has produced two different series of 20 Swiss Franc Gold Coins. The better known and much more heavily-minted version is the second series Vreneli Swiss coins, which were struck from 1897 to 1949.

The earlier first series of Swiss 20 Francs Gold Coins began production in 1886. They lasted through 1896 before series one production abruptly ended. These first editions of the coins similarly contained .1867 ounces of gold and weighed 6.45 grams. This earlier series were struck in far smaller quantities than the Vreneli coins, which became a favorite bank reserve all around Europe. This is what makes the first series of Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins more expensive than the Series Two Vreneli coins when compared to the spot price of gold. The legal tender face value is 20 Swiss Francs, a considerable sum versus its gold weight and content but still nothing compared to the value of the precious metals they contain. This face value provides the sovereign guarantee from Switzerland for both gold purity, content, and weight.

There are several advantages to holding the Swiss 20 Francs Gold Coins. For starters, the gold coins were employed by banks throughout Europe as a bank reserve in the gold standard era. The smaller size of this coin makes it convenient in case you ever need to trade it when a crisis of paper currency erupts. The history of this coin is extensive and has helped to establish it as an easy to identify gold bullion coin which coin dealers throughout the world can quickly price and count on selling rapidly. These coins have such a substantial following in part because they would likely not be recalled as bullion gold should the U.S. decide to recall those bullion issues. Coins minted in the years before 1933 like these Swiss Francs are considered to be both historical and collectible.

Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins Physical Characteristics

Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins in their first series were minted with comparatively lower mintages which never once exceeded 400,000 pieces even in the busiest years of production by the Swiss National Mint in Bern the capital. In many years, even 100,000 or fewer of these Swiss gems were struck. This helps to explain their rarity and higher premium over gold which series one coins command.

Coin Design

The “obverse” is the name of the front side of a coin. Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins feature a lovely Swiss girl often referred to as the original “Swiss Miss.” She stands for Liberty and her head is crowned with a laureate coronet that carries the phrase, “LIBERTAS,” and is flanked to each side by “CONFEDERATIO HELVETICA.”

Coin aficionados the world over refer to the rear side of coins as the “reverse.” Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins have a reverse with a five pointed star over the Swiss red cross emblazoned on a simple design of shield inside of a wreath. On either side of this shield is the inscription 20 FR. The date of mintage appears below this shield. Beneath the wreath you find the “B” mint mark for Bern. This is the design for all type one Swiss 20 Francs Gold Coins minted from 1886 to 1896.


All of the various years of issue for the two series of the Swiss 20 Franc Gold and Vreneli Gold Coins contain almost a fifth of an ounce of pure gold at .1867 ounces. Their specifications are:

  • Mass: 6.4516 grams
  • Diameter: 21.2 mm
  • Thickness:  1.4 mm
  • Content: 0.1867 oz. gold
  • Purity: 90.0% gold

Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins Pricing

Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins included an impressive face value amounting to 20 Swiss Francs. These have been legal tender since their first year of issue in 1886 and steadfastly remain so to this day. The face value is merely symbolic when compared to the several hundred dollars worth in gold found within the coins. Their intrinsic value is mostly derived from the daily spot price of gold. Actual value stems from gold prices along with the meeting of supply and demand for these older and far rarer first series mintages.

The intrinsic value actually determines the true market prices for all Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins. Market prices provide all portfolios which contain them with their coin values. These coins are somewhat unique for bullion with their significant premium higher than the underlying gold prices. The reason is because these are highly sought out rarer historical and collected coins. The premium is explained in part by the significant costs of production and distribution which the Swiss National Mint initially experienced in minting them. Market values of such gems rise and fall day by day alongside the changing value of gold itself. You can quickly determine the current price of gold just by surfing on over to our official homepage.

Can IRA Accounts Contain Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins?

It is an important consideration with these particular coins as to whether or not they may be included within American IRA retirement accounts. The IRS is holding all of the chips when it comes to determining which bullion coins may be held by IRA accounts. The Internal Revenue Service strictly enforces its self-determined standards for purity and collectibility. They mandate that you must first fund a self directed IRA account with at least $5,000 in sanctioned silver and/or gold bullion in order to fully open the account in the first place. Subsequently, you can make additional deposits of gold or silver to the precious metals IRA with as little as only $1,000 in approved coins. If you already own a standard form of IRA account, you can quickly and relatively easily roll it over into a precious metals IRA account. After your bullion is purchased and obtained by the administrator of your IRA retirement account, you will have to see that it is vaulted by one of the official IRS sanctioned third party depositories within the United States. Such secure locations are responsible for inventorying and protecting your precious metals retirement gold and silver holdings on your behalf for as long as you own the metals themselves.

The unfortunate truth is that IRA account owners may not purchase or hold such beautiful Swiss 20 Francs Gold Coins within their IRA retirement vehicles. This is because of two different but equally restrictive reasons. On both purity and collectibility standards, the IRS fails the 20 Francs pieces. IRA mandated gold must boast a minimum .995 gold purity to be approved for account inclusion. These Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins only have .900 purity. They are also highly collected and trade with a significant premium over spot gold prices, a big “no-no” for the IRS when considering which coins to accept for the retirement accounts.

Just because these lovely coins can not be included in your self directed IRA account does not meant that they are not fine choices for competing forms of retirement or investment holdings. With the premiums over spot down to a more reasonable five to ten percent these days, now is perhaps the best time in decades to acquire some of the legendary Swiss gold standard to protect yourself and your own financial future. When you are ready to buy, you can seek out most any world coin dealer or gold bullion store anywhere in the world who will both stock and buy back these continuously popular series one of Swiss Gold 20 Francs Coins.

Sign up to learn more. It's free!

If you're worried about the economy and want to learn tips on how to protect your retirement savings in case of another systemic collapse, sign up to our monthly newsletter now for free! We cover topics such as: precious metals investing, inflation, currency devaluation, national debt, the Fed's financial policies, world politics, and much more. Join now and we'll send you a free PDF report entitled “5 scams to avoid when investing in bullion gold & silver”

FTC Disclosure: We are an independent blog that aims at providing useful information for retirement account owners interested in alternative assets like precious metals. However, our content does NOT constitute financial advice. Please speak to your financial advisor before making any investment decision. Also, the data quoted on this website represents past performance and does not guarantee future results.


Copyright © 2024 Gold IRA Guide