How to set aside CHF1,000

© Snb, 2018

The latest version of the world’s most valuable banknote has been unveiled. How much effort does it take to earn or save enough for one?

This content was published on March 5, 2019 - 09:33
Susan Misicka and Kai Reusser

There’s something regal about Switzerland’s purple 1,000-franc note. Part of the cachet of this seldom-seen slip of paper and polymer is the fact that most people hardly ever handle one.

Worth $999 or €882, the CHF1,000 note also has a dark side, with many questioning the legitimate need for a denomination so large that most vendors refuse to accept it.

To mark the banknote’s release by the Swiss National BankExternal link on Tuesday, we’ve done the math to calculate two things: how many hours you’d have to work in Switzerland to earn one, and how many ordinary goods and services you’d have to give up to save CHF1,000. The new note goes into circulation starting in Bern and Zurich on March 13.

Kai Reusser /
Kai Reusser /

New Swiss banknote series

The inspiration behind the new banknote series is ‘The many facets of Switzerland’. Each denomination depicts a typically Swiss characteristic, which is then illustrated graphically using a range of elements. The CHF1,000 note focuses on Switzerland’s communicative flair, as expressed in the key motif of language, including the multilingual parliamentary chamber. Core design elements in the new series are the hand and the globe, which appear on every banknote.

The new notes have 15 security features to thwart counterfeiters, including shimmery ink, glittery thread, window cut-outs, ultraviolet elements and microtext. In addition, they have a three-layer structure which consists of two outer layers of cotton paper and a polymer core for reinforcement, making them more durable than traditional banknote paper.

The final denomination of the new series, the CHF100 note, will be presented on September 3 and go into circulation on September 12, 2019.

Source: Swiss National Bank

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