The Swiss 1 Franc is a flashy coin, and this one is in great shape. It is slabbed in an NGC slab, so I apologize for the blurry scans.
On the obverse of the coin is an allegorical figure holding a spear and a shield, under a pattern of stars. The stars represent the 25 cantons, and the figure is Helvetia. Confœderatio Helvetica is the personification of the Swiss Confederacy, and she is shown in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag (a simple cross on a solid field). She has braided hair and wears a wreath.
The reverse shows a large laurel wreath, enclosing the legend “1 Fr. * 1957”. The mint mark is below the wreath on the reverse.
Identification code: KM-24
Mint Mark: B (Bern)
Mintage: 6,420,000 (100% of the 1 francs minted that year)
Country of origin: Switzerland
Composition: 83.5% silver
Weight: 5g (0.1342 oz ASW)
Other details: The Swiss Franc is pretty remarkable – it’s one of the longest running currency patterns, and the same symbol is used for the half franc, franc, and 2 franc coins. This design has been constant for about 150 years, with only minor changes in composition.
That’s particularly impressive because the Swiss financial scene was a mess before 1850. There were about 75 entities making coins in Switzerland, including 25 cantons and half-cantons, abbeys, and 16 cities, resulting in more than 850 different coins in circulation, with different values, compositions, sizes, and denominations. As a result, when the Swiss Confederation was formed in 1848, about 85% of the currency in circulation had been produced in other countries (notably France, Spain, and German states).
Helvetia is a relatively modern invention. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest, and the allegorical figure first appears around 1670.
Estimated value: $25-30