From Marteau



The German speaking regions had a number of currencies involving Gulden, Batzen, Rappen, Angster, though with incompatibe parities. Accounting in Thaler (Reichsthaler) was common.

The French speaking regions followed French patterns with French money interfering with the écu, the "livre courant" and sols and deniers "courant".

The standard sourcebook on Swiss currencies is Martin Körner's, Norbert Furrer's and Niklaus Bartlome's Währungen und Sortenkurse in der Schweiz (Lausanne, 2001), preceded by Norbert Furrer's Das Münzgeld der alten Schweiz: Grundriss (Zürich, 1995). It is, however, everything but easy to deduce from both works a clear cut survey of the situation around 1700 – to produce such a survey remains on the other hand a worthwhile task with the clarity and coherence the look on the moment in history will provide.

Bern (Berne)

Thaler (matching the Reichsthaler), Gulden (Schweitzer Gulden), Schillinge and Angster were not issued in Bern, yet used in accounts. Accounts were held in Pfunden (pounds) or Kronen (crowne), a third systems came with the 19th century: that of Franken (Francs).

One Berner Pfund had 20 Schillinge or 240 Pfennige (or Heller, abbreviation: d. for "Denar"), the Schilling had 12 Pfennige.

The Krone was divided into 25 Batzen or 100 Kreuzer, so that the Batzen had 4 Kreuzer.

The Schweizerfranken (Livre Suisse, the symbol is up to 1851 the capital "L") was originally divided into 20 sols or 240 deniers, the Sol or Sou matching 12 deniers. A Pfund had 7.5 Batzen, a Krone = 3 1/3 Pfund. 2 Sols of the Swiss Franken were one Batzen, one Franken matched 10 Batzen.

Martin Körner et al. gave the following pattern:

  • One Thaler counted 960 Pfennige or 3 Francken
  • One Schweitzer Gulden 480 Pfennige or 15 Batzen.
  • The Francken (Schweitzer Pfund) had 320 Pfennige or 10 Batzen
  • The Pfund had 240 Pfennige or 7.5 Batzen
  • The Batzen had 32 Pfennige or 4 Kreutzer
  • The Schilling had 12 Pfennige or 1.5 Kreutzer

Small coins were the Kreutzer (8 Pfennige), the Vierer (4 Pfennige), the Angster (2 Pfennige) and the 1 Pfennig or Haller.

Genève (Geneva)

Sums were given in florins à Genève (à 20 sols à 20 deniers). French money – the livre, sol and denier courant – interfered as a parallel currency of accountinglink and led to the minting of the odd 21 and 10½ sols pieces subdividing the French livre. The value of the écu or louis blanc rose slightly: From 1650-1700 the blanc matched 126 Genevan sols, in 1704 it reached 129, in 1726: 132 Genevan sols. See M. Körner, N. Furrer/ N. Bartlome Währungen und Sortenkurse in der Schweiz (Lausanne, 2001), p.471-72.

21 Sols had the value of 1/2 livre courant (not minted), the coin of 10½ Sols matched 1/4 livre courant respectively.

Geneva's guilder, the Florin (fl.) had 12 Sols, the piece of Trois-sols had the value of 3 Sols whilst the Sol (s.) was divided into 12 Deniers with the Trois-quarts (of 9 Deniers) and the Quart (of 3 Deniers), the Fort (of 1 1/2 Deniers) and the Denier (d.) as the smallest unit.


The "Mark Silber" was a legal currency used at court to define fines, neither did the Taler, from 1662-1720 commensurate with the Reichsthaler, circulate as a coin. The Pfund (a pound of 240 Hellers) had its minted equivalent in the Halb-Gulden (halfguilder). The Zürcher Gulden, Batzen, Kreuzer and Heller did not match the coins which circulated under the same names in German territories as usual "Reichs-Müntze".

  • One Marck Silber had the value of 100 Zürcher Schillinge
  • One Thaler matched 72 Zürcher Schillinge
  • One Schweitzer Gulden had 15 gute Batzen, 16 Zürcher Batzen or 40 Zürcher Schillinge.
  • A Halb-Gulden or "Pfund" had the value of 20 Zürcher Schillinge or 240 Heller accordingly.
  • A guter Batzen counted 32 Heller, a Zürcher Batzen 30 Heller, and a Zürcher Schilling 12 Heller.

Small coins were the (guter) Kreutzer (of 8 Heller), the Rappen (of 3 Heller), the Angster of 2 Heller and the Heller.


  • Körner, Martin/ Furrer, Norbert/ Bartlome, Niklaus, Währungen und Sortenkurse in der Schweiz [= Untersuchungen zu Numismatik und Geldgeschichte, 3] (Lausanne, 2001).
  • Furrer, Norbert, Das Münzgeld der alten Schweiz: Grundriss (Zürich: Chronos, 1995).
  • Paritius, Georg Heinrich, Cambio Mercatorio oder Neu erfundene Reductiones derer vornehmsten Europäischen Müntzen (Regensburg, 1709). e-text

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