It’s been 20 years since the last Swiss banknote series was issued. The new 50 Swiss franc note, which will go into circulation starting from April 12, will be the first note of the ninth series of Swiss francs (CHF).
The Swiss National Bank announced on Wednesday the 50 CHF has fifteen security features to thwart counterfeiters, including shimmery ink, glittery thread, window cut-outs, ultraviolet elements and microtext.
Moreover, its three-layer structure consists of two outer layers of cotton paper and a polymer core for reinforcement, making it more durable than traditional banknote paper.
The theme of the new series is “the many facets of Switzerland”. Therefore each note is based on a concept: time, light, wind, water, matter and language.
In addition, all of the banknotes will feature hands rather than faces, as a reference to the people.
“On the 50 franc note, we tell the story of the wind… (Switzerland) is not only permanently in motion, but it also engenders movement,” explained designer Manuela Pfrunder.
The unveiling came as high denomination bank notes are under increased scrutiny amid concerns that they facilitate criminal behavior and make it harder for central banks to steer the economy with negative interest rate policies.
European finance ministers called on the European Central Bank to look at ways of tightening security around the use of the 500 euro bill or even scrapping it.
However, the Swiss National Bank has no plans to take the 1,000 Swiss franc bill out of circulation, its chairman Thomas Jordan said on Wednesday.
In December there were 45.2 billion Swiss francs worth of 1,000 franc notes in circulation.
“People in Switzerland like it (1,000 CHF bill) and would like to continue using it,” he added.