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Old 07.05.2011, 18:42
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Re: Old Swiss Money

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I'm currently the proud owner of a 1959 20 rappen coin (until I go for a coffee).

Does anyone have an idea what 20 Rp would have bought in 1959?

There must be some old chaps and chapesses out there who can get all nostalgic on me.
Ok, folks, I'm a bit late, but here we go:

In 1959, 20 Rappen / Centimes bought you:

- 2 Bürli (the rather big half-white bread rolls of which the City of St. Gallen was the world capital and which meanwhile have been disimproved beyond recognition by greedy bakers). At the Kantonsschule St. Gallen, during the mid-morning recess, 15 Rappen bought you a Bürli, about the size of two regular rolls, cut in half, with butter on the lower and mustard on the upper cut surface plus about seven slices of salami or four slices of ham. Go figure.

- a good half pound of brown bread. The 500 gr loaf cost 37 Rp.; 500 gr. of white wheat bread was 43 Rp..

- 4 Füferbolle, a lollipop whose name roughly meant "ball-shaped fiver candy," for pretty evident reasons. It is still available at many news stands, and in many places it is still called Füferbolle, but it costs at least 25 Rappen, not quite sure since I grew out of that age quite a bit ago.

- There also were lollies for 20 Rappen, such as the Heidi-Stengel, not exactly big but lasting forever.

- A roll of Swizzels Fizzers. Not quite sure if they were available already in 1959, but they sure were in 1960.

- 2 Bazooka chewing gums. No kid could read the Bazooka Joe comics inside the wrapper because they came in English, but they were popular all the same.

- 2 "Zehnerstückli" (simple pieces of pâtisserie) or one "Zwanzgerstückli" (a somewhat more sophisticated object of pâtisserie, such as a Linzerschnitte, the rectangular mini-version of Linzertorte. If my memory serves me right, a Crèmeschnitte (rectangular mille-feuille) at a café cost 25 Rappen (tip not included in those days!). Crèmeschnitten were often nicknamed "Eiterriemen" = pus strap because of the yellowish pastry cream layers that got squeezed out when you cut the piece.

- A good half of a 6 dl. bottle of beer. A bottle cost 35 - 39 Rappen, depending on the brand (at the store, not at a restaurant).

- 5 cigarettes of the most popular brands. The pack of 20 cigs cost 95 - 100 Rappen. My dad was a heavy smoker, 40 cigs a day. The vending machine across the street took only 1 Fr. coins. The 5 Rappen change was a coin under the cellophane wrapping, which I was allowed to keep whenever I had to fetch food for Dad's cancer (he died of a totally unrelated disease many decades later). A more or less regular income of 20 Rappen a day at the age of 11 was quite something and sure will make up for the 12 days of life expectancy reduction due to my second-hand smoking.

- More than half a litre of gasoline; I don't remember the details of the prices trends of gas those days, but I believe that regular gas went above 50 Rappen some time in the first half of the 'sixties.

- A color picture postcard (not high gloss).

- A post stamp for a priority letter to any place in Switzerland. There was no B Post postage for artificially delayed mail); a stamp for a post card cost 15 Rappen and for a post card with less than 6 words ("Greetings from the sunny Ticino") cost 10 Rappen. I must admit that I am not 100% sure about these postage amounts, though.

- Any length of a local phone call. Local calls cost 20 Rappen, no matter how long you chatted. By the way, does anyone remember how much a 1 minute phone call to the USA or Canada cost in those times? I do, but I'd like to hear what other people think.

- 1 one-way tram and / or bus ticket for the entire network in most Swiss cities.

- 20 pyro crackers. Most retailers sold them only in packs (actually strings) of 50, so there was some black market activity between those kids who were wealthy enough to buy whole strings (for instance me because of Dad's addiction) and the have-nots.

Of course I could go on for hours, but I think this is enough to give you a general impression.
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  #22  
Old 07.05.2011, 18:56
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Re: Old Swiss Money

In 1959 I could buy any of the fancy cream cakes at my local baker's, like a mille-feuille, a Japonais, etc. Or 2 of the dry cookies like sablé (short-bread), or coeur de France (puff pastry heart). Or 2 bread 'miches' (bread roll with salt on). Or a Tète de Nègre (of course not allowed to call them that) - a chocolate, cream filled big chocolate sweet. Posts crossed Captain.

I've still got a couple of rolls of 50ct coins found in a cupboard when I emptied dad's house. Must open them one day to check dates. Can't remember when they stopped making them out of solid silver - when the value of silver overtook the value of the coins- but those in the rolls pre-date that.
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  #23  
Old 07.05.2011, 19:07
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Re: Old Swiss Money

If you think your coin is worth something check this site (like ebay):
http://www.ricardo.ch/kaufen/muenzen...pen/l/cn43879/
I made 200.- chf before leaving to China this way :-)
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  #24  
Old 07.05.2011, 19:11
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Re: Old Swiss Money

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I've still got a couple of rolls of 50ct coins found in a cupboard when I emptied dad's house. Must open them one day to check dates. Can't remember when they stopped making them out of solid silver - when the value of silver overtook the value of the coins- but those in the rolls pre-date that.
That was in winter 1967 - 68, when the silver price skyrocketed and foreigners came to Switzerland to carry suitcases full of coins abroad because they were worth more than their nominal value.
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  #25  
Old 01.10.2011, 14:25
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Re: Old Swiss Money

My mum brought something bizarre with her last time she came to visit. My uncle has a box full of money from various countries, and he sent her along with all of the Swiss cash he had. Included in it was an absolutely massive note - printed on the tenth of February, 1971 (in either Bern or Zurich, apparently). Mostly printed in green, with a big '50' on each side in brown. On one side there is a girl with a floral wreath woven into her hair, on the other side a family scene with a young couple picking apples while a woman is breastfeeding an infant under one of the trees.

Anyone have any idea whether this used to be 'regular' currency, or a special printing?
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:16
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Re: Old Swiss Money

Did you get a picture?
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Old 01.10.2011, 20:34
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Re: Old Swiss Money

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Did you get a picture?
No, I got the actual note ...

Will take a pic of each side and put it up sometime soon ... with a current note for size reference.

[edit]
Okay, here are the pics - first with a 20 franc for size reference, then a closer pic of each side.






Last edited by araqyl; 01.10.2011 at 20:47. Reason: Adding the pics.
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  #28  
Old 01.10.2011, 21:32
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Re: Old Swiss Money

Araqil, that 50 CHF note is from the 6th series of Swiss bank notes that was legal tender between 1956 and 1976. We got lots of laughs when showing those blanket-sized things to people abroad. They wanted to see them again and again, because the size was so incredible.
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Old 01.10.2011, 23:40
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Re: Old Swiss Money

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Araqil, that 50 CHF note is from the 6th series of Swiss bank notes that was legal tender between 1956 and 1976. We got lots of laughs when showing those blanket-sized things to people abroad. They wanted to see them again and again, because the size was so incredible.
Thanks.
So, are they still legal tender, or do I need to find a collector or hand it over in a bank if I want to buy something?
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Old 02.10.2011, 00:11
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Re: Old Swiss Money

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Thanks.
So, are they still legal tender, or do I need to find a collector or hand it over in a bank if I want to buy something?
Sorry, no, they aren't legal tender any more. There was a few years grace for exchanging them at normal banks. The Swiss National Bank stopped exchanging them on April 30, 2000.

You may try eBay, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Old 03.10.2011, 21:14
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Re: Old Swiss Money

You know it's old when it's made out of gold.
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  #32  
Old 04.10.2011, 07:16
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Re: Old Swiss Money

I find old coins in my change all the time. Heres about a months worth.



The wartime nickel has some silver in it so I'll be taking that to a coin dealer along with the wheat pennys so I can get credit towards a new bullion coin.
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