Switzerland 1896-B 5 francs

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Sincona sale 25, lot 2091
This specimen was lot 2091 in Sincona sale 25 (Zurich, October 2015), where it sold for 35,000 CHF (about US$43,233 including buyer's fees). The catalog description[1] noted,
"5 Francs 1896. Head of Helvetia with diadem of alpine roses to l. Rev. Divided value with Swiss arms. The whole in a wreath of an oak- and laurel. Edge lettering: DOMINUS***/PROVIDEBIT/ **********. Of great rarity. Good very fine-extremely fine. The 5 Francs 1896 counts among the great rarities of Swiss federal coinage. Although the professional literature claims an emission of 2'000 specimens, only 10-20 pieces are known today. Inasmuch, the figures for the emission must be wrong."
This type was struck 1888-1916. It was superseded in 1922 by a five francs bearing a portrait of hero William Tell. Confederation coinage commenced in 1850; prior to that, each canton struck its own coinage. In 1931, the five francs was reduced to 15 grams, .835 fine, and struck in that form until 1969.

Recorded mintage: 2,000 plus a few specimens.

Specification: 25 g, .900 fine silver, lettered edge; this specimen 24.94 g.

Catalog reference: Divo 149, HMZ 2-1198h, KM 34, Dav-392.


  • Davenport, John S., European Crowns and Talers, Since 1800, 2nd Ed., London: Spink & Son, 1964.
  • Richter, Juerg, and Ruedi Kunzmann, Neuer HMZ-Katalog, Band 2: Die Münzen der Schweiz und Liechtensteins 15//16. Jahrhundert bis Gegenwart, Regenstauf, Germany: H. Gietl Verlag GmbH, 2006.
  • [1]Richter, Jürg, Ruedi Kunzmann and Arne Kirsch, Numismatic Rarities, Auction 25, Zurich: SINCONA AG, 2015.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.

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