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 In May 2021, the banknotes lost their status as legal tender and are no longer valid for payments.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 Horace Bénédict de Saussure (1740 – 1799), was a Swiss geologist, meteorologist, physicist, mountaineer, and Alpine explorer who is known as the founder of alpinism and modern meteorology; Bénédict de Saussure is the first person to build a successful solar oven.
The reverse of the note illustrates a group of alpinists hiking a mountain range; a stylized design of an ammonite is overlaid in the central motif. The lettering of the note is presented in the German, French, and Italian languages. This note is part of the 1978 – 1992 series, and its color is light blue on a multicolor underprint.
Text: BANQUE NATIONALE SUISSE BANCA NAZIONALE SVIZZERA 20 Horace-Bénédict de Saussure 1740-1799 Vingt Francs Venti Franchi 20 SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK BANCA NAZIUNALA SVIZRA Der Präsident des Bankrates Ein Mitglied des Direktoriums 20 Zwanzig Franken Vantg Francs.