There’s A Lot Going On at Swissmint!

There are many new developments at Swissmint. Find out exactly what in this article.

There are many new developments at Swissmint. Find out exactly what in this article.  Credit: Swissmint.

A new website, a new online shop, a new layout for its customer magazine – these are just some of the innovations Swissmint has in store for us. The mint has changed profoundly over the past two years. Ursula Kampmann explains how.

State officials and visitors were met with quite a surprise when they arrived at the Swiss 'Federal Mile' on 1 July 2023. The festivities marked the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Constitution, and Bern’s federal buildings opened their doors to the public to celebrate the occasion. Contrary to expectations, the longest queue did not form in front of the Federal Palace, which houses the Federal Assembly and the Federal Council, but in front of the Federal Department of Finance. Many a politician will have wondered whether so many Swiss citizens were actually interested in national finances. They were not. Something else had caused this great interest: Swissmint had set up a stall there. In the context of the major anniversary, Swissmint offered its special coin '175 years of the Federal Constitution'. The issue was an enormous success – not just due to the high sales figures. It was this rush of people that made numerous state officials realise what a central role coinage still plays when it comes to the communication between a government and its citizens.

A Successful Balancing Act

After all, every state mint faces a fundamental problem: how can they manage to convey a country’s values, on the one hand, while also creating attractive products for collectors and collectors to be? Collectors need an emotional connection between a coin, the mint and them as an individual. This connection is what makes them purchase every product a mint issues. To attract collectors to be, on the other hand, you need exciting topics and fascinating designs that make them purchase the coin and perhaps inspire them to become a collector themselves.

While this sounds easy enough, it is an extremely demanding task. After all, this is a balancing act. And, actually, you have to deal with several balancing acts at once! This is because seasoned and loyal collectors have a different mindset than the young people a mint wants to inspire to become collectors. In addition, there is a wide gap between topics that ensure high sales figures on the one hand and, on the other hand, our modern world – after all, people simply no longer travel by sailing ship or steam locomotive. Briefly said: a mint must build a bridge between a state’s values and the various segments of popular culture. This means that issuing special coins every year that are to please everyone is about as difficult as squaring the circle.

And yet Swissmint managed to make a broad public feel excited about a rather 'dull' topic such as the 175th anniversary of the Federal Constitution – this is a great achievement! Ronnie Mocker, Managing Director at Swissmint, explains this success as follows: 'It is important to us to adapt Swiss coinage to the developments and the needs of our time and age without losing our identity in the process. We make use of the most modern means of communication as well as traditional channels to share our enthusiasm for numismatics with all Swiss citizens. And our efforts are not limited to the Swiss people. We want to show collectors around the world that small Switzerland produces great coins. Both from a technical and an artistic point of view.' 

An Impressive Appearance at the WMF

Yes, Swissmint is redirecting its approach, and very much so to better align with the interests of collectors. Swissmint want to meet collectors on an equal footing, both in the virtual space of the internet and in the real world of coin fairs. And they do not want to overlook anyone! This approach was first implemented at the 2024 World Money Fair in Berlin. Nobody went past the new Swissmint booth. Its rear wall, covered in Switzerland’s bright red national colour and featuring the white cross, became the focal point of the hall. The number of visitors was accordingly high. 

Jan Niklas Betz, Deputy General Manager of Swissmint and Head of Marketing & Sales, comments: 'I wanted the Swissmint booth to be seen from everywhere. And we succeeded. We had many visitors and good conversations. A lot of them had barely noticed us in the previous location with the subtle decorations. I know that Swiss people traditionally like to be modest and make an understatement. But given the international competition, we can no longer afford to pursue such a strategy. After all, Switzerland has so many things we can be proud of. That is why we want to step into the limelight to tell our stories.' 

A New Design and More Attractive Offers

And that is just what the new Swissmint does – on all channels. First, the popular Swissmint customer magazine got a fresh new design. Then Swissmint’s social media channels were updated and expanded. Take a look at Swissmint’s Facebook page: its funny videos are a real asset for any collector who wants to keep up to date.

The next coup was the new website with a modern design. This came as a surprise to many experts of the industry. After all, Swissmint is a federal authority and has to adhere to the graphic guidelines of the Swiss federal administration. But that is just what Swissmint does: there is a website in the traditional design and another one dedicated to the marketing of special coins. Jan Niklas Betz comments with a smile: 'Doing one thing does not mean that we have to stop doing the other. We can have both: a modern appearance AND Swiss soundness.'

The New Swissmint Online Shop with CH-LOGIN

On 2 April 2024, Swissmint’s new online shop was launched. Aside from the attractive aesthetics, the IT behind it is much more up-to-date and allows customers a significantly improved user experience, especially when there is a lot of traffic. In other words: thanks to the new online shop, it is much less likely for the system to collapse because too many customers order new special coins at once.

So when the new Aerial Cableway Schilthorn silver coin launches on 22 April 2024, the new shop will be perfectly prepared for the expected rush. However, potential buyers should do something now to speed up the purchasing process later: create a login account with eGovernment.

As a federal authority, Swissmint is part of the eGovernment system. In other words: if you register with eGovernment, you can use your password to order coins from Swissmint – and use several other services of the Swiss government.

Of course, potential buyers do not need to have such an account. You can also order coins as a guest. But those who take the eGovernment shortcut will save time and energy. So if you plan to get your hands on your special coin on 22 April 2024, make sure to register for an eGovernment account now.

Experience First-Hand How Swiss Money Is Made

In the so-called Museum Night between 15 and 16 March 2024, Bern citizens crowded outside Swissmint, as they thought this was the only day on which they could take a look inside. In fact, you do not have to wait for a special occasion to visit Swissmint. The mint has recently started offering regular guided tours. You can easily book a touron their website. However, you should book in good time, especially if you are a group of several people because the tours are booked up rather quickly.

Swissmint regularly offers guided tours. Here, the head of the Federal Department of Finance, Karin Keller-Sutter, listens to Ronnie Mocker (right) and Jan Niklas Betz (left). Source: Swissmint.

Those who take part in a tour, do not only learn how Swiss money is made. They also get the chance to see Swissmint’s new boutique afterwards. There you can purchase the latest Swiss coins – and see some particular highlights of Swiss coinage.

The new Swissmint boutique. Source: Swissmint.

 As you can see, there is a lot going on at Swissmint. Ronnie Mocker, Managing Director of Swissmint, says: 'It is of crucial importance to us to move with the times. Of course, long-standing customers repeatedly tell us that they find change difficult. We are sorry to hear that, and try to accommodate them wherever possible. But we can’t just think about our regular customers. This is about the future of Swiss numismatics. And the latter will only remain attractive as long as we, as a mint, are able to adapt to our times. After all, our veteran customers tend to be male, of advanced age, and there are fewer and fewer of them. As a younger and more modern mint, we want to fill new and younger customers with enthusiasm for Swissmint coins. If we didn’t do anything, things would ultimately end badly for us. Maybe not in the next five years, but in ten, twenty or thirty. Many other state mints have been abolished with the stroke of a pen, even though they had existed for centuries. This won’t happen to us. Therefore, we made it our mission to make the Swiss people proud of their mint!' 

Jan Niklas Betz adds: 'Implementing all these innovations in such a short time span was a great risk. But we have received so much positive feedback for our change that we are sure to be on the right track. We are happy about every single collector and every new customer who takes it upon themselves to walk this path with us!'

This article, written by Ursula Kampmann and translated by Maike Meßmann, was originally published on the CoinsWeekly website. Click here to view the website and find out more.