Swissmint released a 20-gram .835 fine silver Proof and Uncirculated versions of a new 20-franc coin featuring the paddle-wheel steamboat La Suisse. It is the second release of a three-coin Swiss steamships series. The naval painter Ueli Colombi designed the coin. The Uncirculated version has a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces while the Proof version has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces.
The ship was commissioned by the Sulzer brothers in 1908. At that time, Belle Epoque euphoria was at its peak in Switzerland. The steamship was the largest and most beautiful Swiss steamship. It can carry 850 passengers and is still operational using a 1,400-horsepower two-cylinder hot steam composite engine from Sulzer. It received an award for being a cultural monument and in 2011, it was declared as a historical monument by the canton of Vaud.
Several technical and structural changes have been made to the ship. Major changes were made from 2007 to 2009. It currently sails through the Haut-lac part of Lake Geneva from Vevey to Thonon.
Image Courtesy: Swissmint