In the U.S. alone, there are trillions of coins in circulation. When taking into account the rest of the world, that number could easily be in the quadrillions. Some of them range from the downright bizarre (like Somalia’s 3D geometric coins) to the traditional circular. And all of them have different designs. So really, it was only a matter of time before we came across one that we could write a blog about.
So in walks the 1980 Swiss 5-franc coin that CK received for Christmas this year. Designed by Paul Burkhard, who lived from 1888-1964, this coin contains both a lot of history and small details. Burkhard designed the coin in the early 1920s, and the same design is still being used today. On the edge of the coin “*** DOMINUS PROVIDEBIT **********” is printed, which is Latin for “The Lord will provide.” The really fascinating part comes on the side of the coin with the portrait of William Tell — yes, the same William Tell known for shooting an apple off his son’s head with a crossbow. Tell is a Swiss folk hero known for bringing unity to Switzerland, a story that inspired Gioachino Rossini to write the William Tell Overture.
The phrase “Confoederatio Helvetica” accompanies Tell’s portrait. It’s the official name for the country of Switzerland. The reason it’s in Latin is because Switzerland has four national languages, and they didn’t want to show favoritism toward one or the other. It’s also the reason for their country code on their license plates, as well as the URL extension for Swiss websites.