In January 2019, Swiss Mint is going to release special 50 Franc .900 fine silver proof coins and 500 Franc .999 fine gold coins to celebrate the country’s annual shooting festival. The 25 grams silver coin costs $124.75, has a mintage limit of 1,500 pieces and a diameter of 37 millimetres. The ½ troy ounce gold coin costs $1,495, has a mintage limit of 200 coins and a diameter of 33 millimetres.
Both coins have similar designs, except for the denomination inscription. The obverse features two bears facing each other. One of them is holding a tree. Similar bears can be seen in the Appenzeller coat of arms. The reverse depicts face value inside a wreath with crossed rifles, a powder horn, and a shooting bag. A legend in French and German reads, CONVERTIBLE A LA FETE DE TIR – EINLOSBAR AM SCHUTZENFEST, which translates to “convertible at the shooting festival”.
The festival began in the 15th century during the old Swiss Confederacy. In those days, participants used crossbows in shooting contests. The tradition has been mentioned in the legends of William Tell. Currently, an annual shooting festival is organised in a new location. Almost 50,000 marksmen have taken part in some of these competitions. Appenzell is the venue for the 2019 festival which will kick off in June. Silver and Gold coins to promote the event were introduced in 1984. The same tradition continues even today.
Image Courtesy: Swiss Mint