Country. Switzerland Year. 1939 Value. 5 Francs Currency. Shooting Thaler Composition. Silver Weight. 19.5 g Diameter. 33 mm Book Ref. Richter 909a Mintage. < 2’500 (surviving)
Subject. Luzern Shooting Festival, 1939 Engraver. Emil Wiederkehr
Design Obverse. Kneeling sharpshooter with rifle
- Shooting Thaler: Swiss Schützentaler are the silver coins equal in size and weight to the Swiss 5 francs coin minted on the occasion of one of the Eidgenössische Schützenfeste, or federal shooting festivals. Three such coins were issued by the cantonal mints of Graubünden (1842, denominated at 4 Swiss francs), Glarus (1847, denominated at 40 Batzen) and Geneva (1851, denominated at 10 francs) prior to the establishment of the Federal Mint. The Federal Mint has issued fifteen such coins with the nominal value of five francs, between 1855 and 1885.
Because they were minted to the official specifications of the 5 francs coin, they were nevertheless circulated de facto. After 1885, the federal mint was dissuaded from minting these semi-official coins on the part of the Latin Monetary Union. After the demise of the Monetary Union, the Swiss federal mint issued two further Schützentaler, in 1934 and 1939, for a total of twenty distinct Schützentaler (3 cantonal, 17 federal).
Most of the designs in the series depict strongly patriotic themes, frequently depicting the federal personification Helvetia alongside a cantonal or city personification, in some cases alluding to specific historical events. The 1851 (Geneva) and 1855 (Solothurn) thalers are an exception to this as they are identical in design to their circulating counterparts.