The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The international official currency symbol; CHF. Before 1798, over 860 different currencies circulated in various denominations and monetary systems in Switzerland. The majority of these coins originated from the French livre tournois or the southern German gulden of the 17th century. The new Swiss currencies emerged in the 18th century after the Swiss cantons did not keep up with the depreciation rate that occurred in France and Germany. The Helvetic Republic (a sister republic of France during the French Revolutionary Wars) introduced the franc in 1798, which was minted until 1803; this issue served as a model for the coins of several cantons during the Mediation period (1803-1814). Despite the arrival of the first Swiss franc, the southern German kronenthaler became the most popular currency in the nineteenth century. To address this issue, the Swiss Federal Constitution of 1848 stipulated that the federal government would be the sole body entitled to issue currency in the country.
The first Federal Monetary Law, passed in 1850, established the franc as the monetary unit of Switzerland two years later. In 1907, The Swiss National Bank assumed responsibility for issuing banknotes from the cantons and individual banks and introduced notes in denominations of 50, 100, 500, and 1000 francs, followed by 20 francs in 1911 and 5 francs in 1913. The Federal Treasury issued notes in denominations of 5, 10, and 20 francs in 1914. These notes were made available in three separate languages: French, German, and Italian. That year, the State Loan Bank also printed 25 franc notes. The national bank stopped issuing 5 franc notes in 1952 but launched 10 franc notes in 1955. The 200-franc note was launched in 1996, while the 500-franc note was phased out. The Swiss National Bank has created eight series of banknotes. In April 2021, the Swiss National Bank announced the eighth series was replaced by the ninth series launched between 2016 and 2019. In May 2021, the banknotes lost their status as legal tender and are no longer valid for payments.
The 20 Swiss franc note front design features the portrait of Arthur Honegger (1892 – 1955) was a Swiss composer who was born in France and was a member of Les Six. His most representative work is Antigone, which was composed between 1924 and 1927, based on the French libretto by Jean Cocteau, which is based on the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles.
The reverse of the note illustrates Arthur Honegger’s work, the orchestral work Pacific 231, which was inspired by the sound of a steam locomotive. The lettering of the note is presented in the German, French, and Italian languages. This note is part of the 1994 – 2014 series, and its color is red-violet and green on a multicolor underprint.
Text: 20 Arthur Honegger 1892-1955 20 Banknoten sind strafrechtlich geschützt. Las bancnotas èn protegias dal dretg penal. Zwanzig Franken Ventg Francs SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK BANCA NAZIUNALA SVIZRA 20 Le président du Conseil Un membre de la Direction générale 20 Les billets de banques sont protégés par le droit pénal. Le banconote sono protette dal diritto penale. Vingt Francs Venti Franchi BANQUE NATIONALE SUISSE BANCA NAZIONALE SVIZZERA.