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Sunday, 30 April 2017

492) Alpine Gentian: “Flora Alpina” Series: The second coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2017 features the popular Gentian flower:



492) Alpine Gentian: “Flora Alpina” Series: The second coin in the Series issued by the Federal Mint Swissmint in January 2017 features the popular Gentian flower:


Every year, the Federal Mint Swissmint issues a small number of commemorative coins featuring some carefully selected themes/subjects. The coins minted in bimetal, silver and gold qualities bear an official nominal value, but are offered as Collector’s pieces.


This 2017 Switzerland 10 Franc Bimetallic coin, is the second coin in the “Flora Alpina” three Coin Series, issued on 26.01.2017 and features the “Alpen Gentian”, which is an  Alpine Flower of Switzerland.

 The other two themes included in this 3 coin Alpine Flower Series are Edelweiss and Silver Thistle. The first coin depicting the “Edelweiss was issued in 2016, while the third and last coin in the Series featuring the “Alpen-rose” will be issued in 2018.

About the Gentian flower:

Each year, the unique Alpine Flora attracts countless visitors to the mountains. The mountain spring is particularly impressive. While the snow fields gradually melt away, everywhere plants are blossoming and sprouting. Particularly eye-catching in this display of colours is the deep blue of the Gentian.

Together with the Edelweiss and Alpine Rose, it is one of the most popular Alpine flowers.

Gentian is a plant species from the Gentian family (Gentianaceae). The 300 to 400 plant species which are found almost all over the world are predominantly indigenous to the temperate climate zones of the Northern hemisphere and also in the Andes.

Gentian is commonly understood to mean the “stemless Gentian” of which there are several sub-species. The most well known are the frequently occurring species “Clusius’ Gentian” (Gentana clusii or limestone Gentian) and the stemless or “Koch’s Gentian (Gentiana acaulis or Silicaceous Gentian). Somewhat less well known is the “Gentian alpina” occurring more rarely and mainly in Valais and southern Switzerland. In contrast to the “Clusius’ Gentian” which grows in limestone rich soil, the “Koch’s Gentian” and the “Gentian alpina” need soil with silicate.

The two most widespread short-stemmed bell-shaped Gentians - Clusius’ Gentian” and “Koch’s Gentian” are very similar and because of this get muddled up with each other by mountain goers. Nevertheless, there is a striking distinctive feature on the corolla of the “Koch’s Gentian”, there are five regularly spaced green stripes which are absent in the “Clusius’ Gentian”. Also, the blue in the latter is thereby much more vivid.

The root of the Gentian flower is an ingredient in many beverages and is a common flavouring for bitters.

The Commemorative Coin featuring the “Alpen Gentian” (or the “Gentian Flower”):

               The Reverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin
The Reverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features three Gentian flowers arranged at different angles with the strike crossing both the copper-nickel centre disc and the Aluminium bronze outer ring of the bimetallic coin.

Along the lower periphery of the coin on the outer ring is mentioned “FLORA ALPINA” (the name of the three coin Series which translates into “Alpine Flower”). Towards the right periphery is the inscription “LEIBUNDGUT” (standing for the name of the Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut).
            The Obverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin

The Obverse of the bimetallic 10 Franc Coin features a clean face, dominated by inscriptions “CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA” (meaning “Confederation Helvetica” or “Helvetic Confederation” which is Switzerland’s official name) which is displayed across two lines of curved text, with “CONFOEDERATIO” appearing on the centre to upper periphery of the outer ring and “HELVETICA” appearing on the upper edge of the centre-piece. Just below the “H” of Helvetica are the iconic Swiss Cross and the denominational value of the coin in numerals “10”, below which is the mint mark of the Bern Mint “B”. On the outer ring is mentioned “FR” which references the coin’s Franc denomination. To its right towards the right periphery is the year of issue “2017”.

The specifications of this coin are:

Country of issue: Switzerland; Year: 2017; Denominational value: 10 Franken (or 10 Franc); Mint Mark: “B” (Bern); Coin Quality: Uncirculated and Proof;  Mintage: 29,000 (Uncirculated pieces) and 5,500 Proof pieces); Metallic Composition/Alloy: Bi-metallic: Outer Ring: Aluminium Bronze: 92% Copper, 6% Aluminium, 2% Nickel; Centre piece: Copper-Nickel: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel; Weight: 15.0 grams; Diameter/Size: 33.0 mm; Thickness: 2.5 mm; Shape: Round; Edge: Milled; Orientation: Medal Alignment. Issuing Mint: Federal Mint Swissmint. Coin’s Engraver: Jenny Leibundgut.

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