February 12, 2015 – The Federal Mint Swissmint has launched three new commemorative coins for coin enthusiasts and collectors. A bimetallic coin celebrates the custom of the descent from Alpine pastures. The first of two silver coins is dedicated to the innovative “Solar Impulse” project, the second is dedicated to the anniversary of the “1500 Years of St. Maurice’s Abbey”. The last coin in the five-part series on the topic of Swiss customs is dedicated to one of Switzerland’s most common customs, the descent from Alpine pastures.
Switzerland / 2015 / 10 Franken / Cupronickel and Aluminium Bronze/ 15 g / Diameter: 33 mm / Design: Réhane Favereau, Chambésy / Mintage: 40,000.
The 10-franc bimetallic coin designed by Réhane Favereau from Chambésy, illustrates this custom in the form of a typical paper cut-out. On the big day of the descent from Alpine pastures, the herds are cleaned up and in many places artfully adorned with flowers, fir foliage and flags and the cows wear huge cow bells around their necks.
Even the Alpine farming families and the herds men are all spruced up. The floral decorations are particularly elaborate in the Gruyère. In other places, it is only the cows with the highest milk yield that have the pleasure of being decorated. This descent from Alpine pastures is often also an occasion for a fair featuring folk music, Alpine horn-blowing, bells, whip cracking and a market with typical, regional products.
Switzerland / 2015 / 20 Franken / Silver 0,835 / 20 g / Diameter: 33 mm / Design: Angelo Boog, Wallisellen / Mintage: 35,000.
To fly around the world using just the energy of the sun is a dream which, up until recently, still seemed impossible. Solar Impulse wants to take on this challenge. The solar airplane passed the main test, the historic crossing of the USA from west to east in two months, in the summer of 2013. It thereby clearly illustrated how clean technologies can reduce the consumption of natural resources and our dependence on fossil fuels. The successful pioneer flights of the Solar Impulse 1 prototype have broken numerous records and attracted attention throughout the world for the solar project of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. The construction of the second, improved plane was started in 2011. The aim is to tackle the round-the-world trip before the end of the year. The Federal Mint Swissmint is honouring this bold project with a 20-franc silver coin. This was designed by Angelo Boog from Wallisellen.
Schweiz / 2015 / 20 Franken / Silver 0,835 / 20 g / Diameter: 33 mm / Design: José Requena, Martigny / Mintage: 5,000.
The Abbey of St. Maurice is regarded as the oldest monastery in the western world with a continuous history since it was founded. Today, it still houses an order of Canons Regular of St. Augustine. The Abbey of Saint-Maurice d’Agaune was founded in 515 by King Sigismund of Burgundy on the burial place of the martyr Mauritius and his companions. In 290, the commanding officer Mauritius, who came from Egypt, and his legion of mainly Christians originating from Thebes disobeyed the orders of Emperor Maximian to participate in the persecution of Christians. Due to this refusal to obey orders, he and his troops were executed. The anniversary silver coin designed by Jose Requena shows an image of the basilica of the Abbey of St. Maurice.
The new commemorative coins will be available from 22 January 2015 as limited editions from coin dealers, banks and at the online shop of the Swissmint.
Pictures from various descents from Alpine pastures you may find here.
And fascinating pictures and more information on the project Solar Impulse you can get here.
And about the long history of the Abbey of St. Maurice informs you this website (in French).