Switzerland's new 50 franc note: what you need to know

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Switzerland's new 50 franc note: what you need to know
The new 50 france note has been dubbed the "dandelion". Photo: Swiss National Bank

Switzerland's new 50 franc note became available on Tuesday. Here's what that means for you.


Where to get the new notes

The new notes are already available at the offices of the Swiss National Bank in Zurich and Bern and at the regional agents of the bank which are listed here.

Some other banks already have the new notes but people in some regions will have to wait until Wednesday when deliveries are complete – a delay bemoaned by numismatists.

The design

The design of the new note “focuses on the wealth of experiences Switzerland has to offer”, an idea represented by the wind, according to the Swiss National Bank.

The front site of the note features a dandelion while the rear side shows a mountain range.

Security features

This note is the first in a whole new series of banknotes for the country with the national bank saying it comes with “state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting protection”. This multi-faceted protection includes design features that can only be seen under a microscope or using UV light.

The note's security strip lists all of the Swiss mountains over 4000 metres high from the Aletschhorn to the Zumsteinspitze.

Smaller size

The new series of notes will come in the same colour scheme as the older notes. However, the news notes are smaller and “easier to handle”, according to the Swiss National Bank.

This new size has meant a refit of cash machines, which means you may have to wait until an ATM spits one out for you.

No more Dada

Crucially, the new notes will also see people replaced by designs. In the case of the 50 franc note, that will see Switzerland saying goodbye to the image of Swiss Dada artist Sophie Taueber-Arp who has appeared on the note since 1995.

The timing is unfortunate as Zurich is currently in the throes of celebrating the centenary of Dadaism in the city with events centred on the legendary Cabaret Voltaire.

A new series of notes

The next denomination in the Swiss series of banknotes, the 20 franc note, is expected to be released in spring 2017.

Can I keep using my old 50 franc notes?

The current 50 franc notes will remain legal tender until 2020 with the Swiss National Bank then obliged to swap the current notes for the new version for 20 years, according to Swiss daily the Tages Anzeiger.

What will happen to the old notes when they go out of circulation?

The old notes will be shredded and compacted, then burned in waste incineration plants.


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