Unknown Varieties of "Common" Swiss 20 Franc gold coins

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by Lev99, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Lev99

    Lev99 Member

    I used to dabble in these up until recently when I had to sell, and rather than let the information go, figured I’d pass it along. Good hunting to you.

    This bullion series was among others as "foreign junk" bullion that apparently got melted a few years back as gold sales slowed. I'd rather not see any more varieties hit the furnace in the future. Varieties of 20Fr Swiss in the US are currently unknown and unmarked by major grading companies and auction houses. Many carry a premium in Europe where they're more widely collected.

    Photos pulled from internet and modified with “Fair Use”.

    Series Condition: Swiss minted coins to some very late die states in this series. Die cracks, die erosion, die clashing, heavy polishing on Vreneli’s upper lip, etc., was considerable. Die doubling is not uncommon.

    Star Edge configuration
    1897-1935LB: The “standard” configuration is 8 stars on top, 7 stars on left, 7 stars on right “8/7/7”. Stars are separated by vertical bar.

    1947-1949: Edge lettering as shown “AD LEGEM ANNI MCMXXXI”, meaning according to the law of 1931.

    Star Rotation & Varieties:
    It is possible star edge varieties exist on many more years, but those listed below are the ones that are known.

    7/8/7 Star Edge Varieties have been found 1909, 1915, 1927, 1935LB dates. 7/8/7 means 7 stars on top, 8 on the right, 7 on the left.
    7/7/8 has been found on 1935LB
    7/7/7 has been found on 1930, 1935LB

    Other Varieties:
    This is an example of die clashing. The "neck triangles" had me stumped a while (bottom arrow), but apparently it's just branches and leaves from the back of the coin that made their way to the obverse dies. I don't think they carry premiums.

    1916 Serif, seems to be a common variety. No premium as of yet.

    1922 QDR, DDO. Quadrupled Die Reverse is apparently present on every single 1922 example. The obverse doubling however is not. Carries slight premium.

    1927 has a variety called a “hair curl”. I didn’t have a good photo, so I drew in the hair curl showing the location. It is uncommon and carries a good premium.

    Die Rotations have also been found on 1930, 1935LB, and I believe 1947 and 1949. Could be 45 degree, 90 degree, or 135 degree rotations.

    1935LB – Double star 12’o’clock (edge?) – I am not sure what this is, maybe an error on star at the edge of the coin.

    1947 – 22 star edge variety (should have lettering on edge, NOT stars). It’s likely very rare.

    1949 – Heavy Stamp. Heavy die clashing on any year carries a slight premium.

    As a final note, I've heard people mention they don't collect these coins because "holocaust". The only concern for contamination of gold might be in 1947 and 1949 dated coins, after negotiations/reparations were settled. Apparently a few ingots were recast, that the 3rd Reich tried to mix "dirty" gold with "clean" bars. Germany didn't have the ability to refine gold, just recast. After the war the Allied forces approached Switzerland about refining holocaust related gold, and they flatly said No. There were a lot of hard feelings between Switzerland and Allied countries after WW2.

    So...if you ever wondered just where did all that holocaust gold wind up...look no further than modern US, British, and World gold bullion, as well as whatever industrial uses there are. By the Ton. Nobody else could refine it. After total war, people have to move on.
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  3. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    Very interesting history lesson.
    Lev99 likes this.
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