The Swiss Mint isn’t a hugely prolific one, but they do bring a certain quirky charm with their style and choice of subject. They generally only issue a single gold coin every year, and the last three years has seen a railway tunnel, a mountain rescue dog, and William Tell doing the honours. Like we said, quirky. This year the chosen subject is a recurring one on Swiss coins, transport. The subject has already appeared on various silver issues over the last few years, such as the Steamboat series, and the Klausen Pass motor racing route.
For 2019, the mint has chosen the unusual freight train, the ‘Crocodile’, that has been plying its trade along the Swiss Gotthard and Mittelland rail routes for a century. To be strictly factual, the trains were retired from active service in the 1980’s, but some have been preserved as historical items and you can book a trip on one. If you’re going to do a rail journey, we’d imagine a country as stunning as Switzerland would be the place to make the most of it.
The design is a straightforward one. Just an angled view of the train, along with the inscribed dates of the centenary, and the technical name of the Crocodile. The depiction of the train is nicely detailed and shows a great mastery of perspective. So often these things can look a little odd, but here, artist Raphael Schenker, has kept things looking real. The obverse is the standard Swiss one. This isn’t a mint known for exuberance on this face, sadly.
Available with a proof finish, boxed with a certificate of authenticity, the mintage is capped at 5,000 pieces (250 of which were signed by the artist) and carries a price of 580 CHF. Coins are obviously pretty popular in this country, as the coin is listed as sold out at the mint. You should be able to pick one up on the aftermarket, however.