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New 20 Swiss franc note officially launched

The Swiss National Bank is the process of issuing new bank notes. A new 50 franc note hit the streets last year. Now it is the new 20 franc note’s turn. Officially launched today, it will enter circulation on 17 May 2017.

A photograph of the note was posted on Facebook by Bilan:

The new red note, designed around the theme of light, has a few secrets. It can be be washed without losing any of its colour, so you don’t need to worry about leaving it in your pocket. Apparently it can even survive boiling water.


Old 20 Swiss franc note – © Vogelsp | - Click to enlarge

It is made from a special paper called “Durasafe” made by the company Landqart AG based in mountainous Graubunden. It consists of two layers of paper with a transparent polymer running through the middle of it. This means the notes still feel like paper but has some of the durability of plastic.

The complex process of printing is entrusted to Zurich-based Orell Füssli, which produces notes for other central banks. The inks used are produced by SICPA, a company based in Prilly near Lausanne. The company produces ink for around 80% of the world’s banknotes.

The notes cost around 40 cents each to make and the 20 franc ones should last around one year, although only time will tell. The 50 franc note is expected to last a year and a half, while the yet-to-be launched new 1,000 franc note could survive more than 10 years of handling. Life spans differ based on the amount of handling.

The next note in the series to go into circulation will be the new Swiss 10 franc note, scheduled for 18 October 2017. The remaining notes will be launched at six month intervals between then and the end of 2019.


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