Newly Swissed Online Magazine

7 interesting facts about the new Swiss banknotes

As part of the new line of Swiss banknotes, humanity was abandoned in lieu of butterflies and snow crystals.

After a very un-Swiss delay of six years, the Swiss National Bank released the latest batch of Swissies in 2015. As of April 2016, the new 50 franc bill was released, followed by 20-, 10-, 100-, 200- and 1000-franc bills.

And finally, by 2019, the entire previous line was replaced.

New Swiss Banknotes

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

For instance, the new 50-franc bill features a mountain landscape with climbers, and the 10-franc bill has 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 from the public, the SNB revised their decision and went for the second place winner, Zürich graphic artist Manuela Pfrunder.

3. The color scheme remained identical to the previous series, which helps identify a bill's denomination. The new bills are slightly smaller than the previous ones.

4. Now in circulation is 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 its 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

Download our e-book: 77 Facts about Switzerland