In a rare twist for the normally quite conservative Swiss Mint, they issued a few weeks ago, a coin with a glow-in-the-dark application on its reverse face. Normally the reserve of mythology and media-based coins, the mint has incorporated it into a science themed coin for a change. The science in question is hydro-electric power generation, something coming to increasing prominence as the debate over what to do to mitigate mans impact on climate change intensifies.
Hydropower is an important component in Switzerland’s power generation, comprising over 56% of their power needs, with the bulk of the rest coming from nuclear, which the Swiss have taken the short-sighted decision to phase out by 2034. There is an increasing renewable component (geothermal, solar), but Switzerland does still import hydro power from the EU. While the Swiss are lucky to have a geography that is favourable to this type of power production, they are to be commended for actually making use of it.
Not only is this 20 CHF coin (20g, 0.835 silver) unusual for having the fluorescent element to its design, it’s actually a very nice coin as well. Swissmint engraver Benjamin Löbbert has combined elements of the turbines used to transform water movement into electricity, along with scenes of a rivers pattern of water flow, and data on water consumption in Switzerland. It’s a clever melding of ideas that’s actually enhanced by the colour. The fluorescent element gives a little added dynamism to the water flow part, but the base design stands perfectly well on its own. Struck to a proof finish, it has a mintage of 10,000 pieces, and is the first of the mints ‘Energy of the Future’ trilogy, with Solar and Wind coming over the next two years. We’ll try to be a bit quicker reporting on those than we were on this one…
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