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7 Interesting Facts about the New Swiss Banknotes

Newsflash: Humanity will be abandoned completely by 2019! In its place, expect butterflies and snow crystals – at least when it comes to Swiss banknotes.

After a very un-Swiss delay of six years, the Swiss National Bank is going to release the latest batch of Swissies: In April 2016, expect the new 50 franc bill, followed by 20-, 10-, 100-, 200- and 1000-franc bills.

By 2019, the entire current line will have been replaced.

New Swiss Banknotes

I find it interesting that in the United States, there was considerable debate about placing a woman on the new 10-dollar bill. Meanwhile, Switzerland is abandoning people pictures altogether, in favor of Mother Nature.

For instance, the new 50-franc bill will feature a mountain landscape with climbers, and the 10-franc bill some skiers slaloming through a race course.

Have I mentioned butterflies and snow crystals?

New Swiss Banknotes


Seven interesting facts you need to know about Swiss banknotes:

1. The Swiss National Bank launched a competition for the new design in 2005. The winning designs from Manuel Krebs featured cells and embryos.

2. After loud opposition of the public, the SNB revised their decision and went for the second place winner, Zürich graphic artist Manuela Pfrunder.

3. The color scheme will remain identical to the current series, which will help with identifying the denomination of a bill. It is said that the new bills will be slightly smaller than the current ones, and the final design will differ, too.

4. This will be the ninth generation of banknotes in Swiss history, slated to last for 15 years. The first series was released back in 1907.

5. Swiss banknotes are less likely to be counterfeited than euros, US dollars or the British pound. Only 1 in 100’000 Swiss bills is counterfeit, whereas the ratio increases to 1 in 20’000 for euros, 1 in 10’000 for US dollars and 1 in 3333 for the British pound. The University of Lausanne based their 2011 report on information from central banks.

6. The 1000-franc bill is the denomination with the highest circulation, at 61.1%. At the current exchange rate, it is the second most valuable banknote in the world still being printed. Although there are USD 10'000 bills in circulation, they are no longer being printed. Singapore has a bill worth about 7500 francs, though.

7. Once you see the face on the new 50-franc bill, you cannot un-see it!

Face on Swiss 50 Franc Bill

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


  • I liked the actual winner of the design competition! But I can see how Manuel’s design might come across as a tough too avantgarde and potentially even disturbing. Manuela’s design is obviously more conservative but still nice.

  • I quite like this new design. As for the winner, I find the grey objects on the notes feel like they don’t really belong there.

  • I’m not surprised about fact number five. Perhaps the counterfeit rate for the British pound is so is low because it’s a coin!

Dimitri Burkhard


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