Following on from last years debut in their three-issue set of Swiss Steamboats silver coins, the Swiss Mint is launching the second of the trilogy. Also designed by Ueli Colombi, the Swiss marine artist responsible for Steamboat Uri in 2017, Steamboat La Suisse is another look at a rare classic ship in this landlocked country. While Uri plys her trade on Lake Lucerne, La Suisse sails serenely on Lake Geneva.
A nice design on offer, with a good view of the vessel that is perfectly proportioned and showing great perspective. Ships are one of those things easy to get wrong unless in plan or elevation view, but Colombi has done an impressive job. The engine schematic in the background is a nice touch and helps to fill a bit of negative space, much like the operator emblem on the first issue. The obverse is the standard Swiss Mint one – very clean, but simple and unimaginative.
Struck in 20 grams of 0.835 fineness silver, an unusual sight these days, it is struck in a choice of two finishes. The proof finish is the premier one and sells for 60CHF. This one has a mintage of 5,000 and sells for 60 CHF, although a limited number (250) signed by the artist were available for an extra 10 CHF. The proof is boxed, but the 30 CHF uncirculated isn’t. A much larger mintage of 30,000 marks this out as the popular choice, and 29,000 of them are supplied encapsulated only, but the other 1,000 are presented in a themed folder packed with backstory to the ship. The extra 10 CHF for the folder seems a little high, but I guess it’s good there’s a choice. The uncirculated is certainly good value compared to the proof, but the collector will probably want the proof. All are available to purchase now.