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Switzerland is a country located in Central Europe. The country borders France, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and Germany. The nation is known officially as the Swiss Confederation, and it consists of 26 cantons. Switzerland is geographically divided between the Alps, the Jura and the Swiss Plateau. The country has a land mass of approximately 16,000 square miles, and the majority of its 8 million inhabitants live on the plateau. Two of the world’s largest financial centers are located on the plateau in the cities of Zurich and Geneva. Zurich is the largest city in the country. Several languages are spoken in the country including German, French, Romansh and Italian. The Swiss Government is a federal semi-direct democracy under a parliamentary directorial republic.
The Swiss Franc is the official currency of Switzerland. The franc is also considered good, legal tender in Liechtenstein and the Italian exclave Campione d’Italia. In 1848, the new Swiss Federal Constitution specified that only the federal government could produce currency for the country. The franc was introduced two years later as the monetary unit of the nation, replacing the various currencies of the different Swiss cantons. The country later took part in an agreement that valued the franc to a standard of 4.5 grams of silver or .290322 grams of gold. The franc stayed on that standard until the year 1936.
The Swiss Franc has a reputation as a safe haven, and is often purchased by investors during periods of economic or geopolitical uncertainty.
The Swiss Franc is issued and controlled by the country’s central bank, the Swiss National bank. The central bank has headquarters in Bern and Zurich and was established in the early 1900s. The Swiss National Bank is mandated to act in accordance with the economic interests of the nation, and one of its primary responsibilities is to maintain a reliable monetary policy. The bank has other critical tasks as well, including management of cashless payment systems and investment of the country’s currency reserves.
If you are looking to purchase gold in Switzerland or simply want to see live gold prices, quotes will be seen in the local currency. Prices are often available in other major global currencies as well, such as U.S. Dollars, Japanese Yen, euros or Great British Pounds. The price of gold is typically quoted by the ounce, gram or kilogram, although sometimes other local units of measure may also be quoted.
Swissmint is the official mint of the Swiss Federation. The mint is located in the city of Bern, and is in charge of producing Swiss Franc coins in both circulation and bullion varieties. The mint also produces various medals and commemorative coinage. It was founded in 1848.
The mint recently produced a 50 franc gold coin called the “Barry” that celebrates the legendary Saint Bernard dog of that name who lived at a hospice founded in the 11th century at the Great Saint Bernard Pass. Barry lived from 1800-1812 and reportedly saved the lives of 40 people. This gold coin has been issued in memory of this amazing animal and guardian.