The writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt kicks off the Swiss Mints silver coin selection for 2021

The Swiss Mint’s first new silver coin of the year is an homage to one of their more famous writers, Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Now, I’m not going to insult your intelligence by telling you I know anything about the mans work, so check out the mint blurb lower down, and lets have a quick look at this 20 gram, 0.835 silver coin.

To be honest, the reverse image of the writer looks first rate. It should always be mentioned when a human face is done well, as there are some terrible ones out there, but this one appears natural, well-detailed, and accurate. We’re aware this is a render, so we’ll reserve final judgement, but Florentine artist Remo Mascherini has us hopeful it will hit the mark. The usual Swiss obverse that never seems to change rounds out the package.

The Swiss Mint has their own way of doing things (outside off the odd 0.835 fineness silver), so two finishes are available on fundamentally the same coin – proof or brilliant uncirculated. Proof variants (5k mintage) come boxed and sell for 60 CHF, with a small and usually sold out run of artist-signed certificate versions available for 70 CHF. The BU variant comes either with or without a gatefold blistercard, which you can see above. These sell for just 30 CHF, or 40 CHF, which is a significant saving for just a change of finish.

An esoteric subject, for sure, but one that looks to be treated with respect by the mint. Available to order now.


Playwright, story-teller, essayist and artist: Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born on 5 January 1921 in Konolfingen near Bern, the son of a protestant minister. In 1935, the family moved to Bern, where in 1941 Dürrenmatt began his studies in literature, philosophy and natural science. It was during this time that he produced his first literary texts, as well as ink drawings and paintings. In 1946, he abandoned his studies after deciding to become a writer. His first play, It is Written, premiered in 1947. Up to his death on 14 December 1990, Dürrenmatt lived in his house at Pertuis-du-Sault in the canton of Neuchâtel (now the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel), to which he had moved in 1952. Dürrenmatt was married twice and had three children from his first marriage.

He is most famous for his plays The Visit and The Physicists, and the crime novels The Judge and his Hangman and The Pledge. His work has been translated into over 40 languages and has received numerous prizes, making him one of the most successful German-speaking writers of international renown.

Dürrenmatt bequeathed his literary legacy to the Swiss Confederation. This led to the establishment of the Swiss Literary Archives in 1991. His paintings and drawings are curated by the Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel, which opened in the year 2000.

Source: Swiss Literary Archives via Swiss Mint

DENOMINATION 20 CHF (Switzerland)
COMPOSITION 0.835 silver
WEIGHT 20.0 grams
FINISH B/unc or Proof
MINTAGE 15,000 (B/unc), 5,000 (Proof)
BOX / C.O.A. Yes (proof) / Yes