After the last week quiz about Swiss counterstamps on French coins, here are some more explanations.French coins were used in Swiss since the late 18th century. They included various types of écus from Louis XV, Louis XVI and the French Revolution. In 1816, the Swiss canton of Bern decided to counterstamp all the these French écus with a weight greater than 28.9 grams.
On one side of the coin, the counterstamp was the coat of arms of the Canton of Bern, while the counterstamp on the other side gave the equivalent facial value of 40 batzen.
The edge of the coins was also affected. They originally had a lettered edge, with various inscriptions: "DOMINE SALVM FAC REGEM" (God save the King) for royal coins, and "LA NATION LA LOI ET LE ROI" (the Nation, the Law and the King) or "LIBERTE EGALITE" (Liberty, Equality) for the coins of the Revolutionary times. In addition to the two counterstamps, the edge was also modified and became a frieze of laurel leaves.
Although only a few hundered of such coins remain today, more than 1 million of coins are believed to have been counterstamped. They were legal tender until the coinage reform of 1851/1852.