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Coins and Medals

City of Lucerne

Key data

Lucerne, 10 francs, 1804

Gold, struck

weight 4.778 g

diameter 21.7 mm

Inv. 1903.1062.


In the small area covered by modern Switzerland prior to 1798 there were on occasion more than 20 mints striking coins at the same time, each making their contribution to a very wide range of coinage. The unitary state created by the French (the Helvetic Republic) then centralised the mint briefly for the first time. With the Mediation constitution (1803-13) the rights of coinage were transferred to the individual cantons, then 19 in number, with certain guidelines that had to be observed by all. Only when the Federal constitution was introduced in 1848 was the prerogative of coinage established as the sole right of the Swiss Confederacy. The canton of Lucerne, where coins had been struck since 1422, was one of the few to issue gold coins. On the 10 franc piece the "Alter Schweizer" (old Swiss) sits in a relaxed pose holding a halberd in his right hand and leaning his left arm on the shield inscribed XIX/CANT. The obverse of the coin (not shown) shows the Lucerne coat of arms with a crown above it, and gives the name of the issuing authority, the value and the year.

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