The Oldest Coin In Circulation

Design, Meaning, And Materials The design for Switzerland's 10 centimes coin (the oldest in circulation) was created by Karl Schwenzer in 1879.

Schwenzer was no newbie to coin design at this time, but had served as the royal court medalist (or coin artist) for the then-German state, the Kingdom of Württemberg.

Working for Switzerland, Schwenzer created a design that features Liberty's head in right-facing profile on the obverse (or heads) side of the coin, surrounded by the phrase "CONFŒDERATIO HELVETICA." 

On the reverse (or tails) side, the 10 centimes coin bears the number "10" wreathed by the leaves of two oak branches, tied together at their base with a ribbon. 

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Liberty, meanwhile, with her braided hair and diadem, is yet another interpretation of Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom; she appears on most Swiss coins. 

The oak branches symbolize strength, and the tiny "B" embossed just underneath where the branches are tied together represents Bern, the Swiss capital city where the coins are minted.

History And Significance Switzerland is a landlocked empire of mountains, watches, and chocolate. Due to its diverse borders, Switzerland boasts four national languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansh.

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