Tennis great Roger Federer is to become the first living Swiss to have a coin minted in their honour, with a commemorative 20 franc ($20.06) silver piece bearing his image being issued in January.
The 38-year-old 20-time Grand Slam champion is regarded by many as the greatest tennis player ever and is a national hero in Switzerland.
Swissmint confirmed that 55,000 of the coins, featuring Federer delivering a backhand, will be produced and will be available for pre-order from Tuesday until Dec. 19.
"Roger Federer's sporting achievements, his charitable commitments, his easy-going nature and his accessibility to his fans have prompted Swissmint to dedicate this 20-franc silver coin to him - the first time it has done so with a living person," a Swissmint spokesperson told Reuters.
With demand expected to be high, Swissmint said another 40,000 coins could be issued in May while a 50 franc gold coin, featuring a different design would also be produced next year.
"Thank you Switzerland and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege," Federer wrote on Twitter.
Thank you Switzerland🇨🇭and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege. 🙏#DankeSchweiz#MerciLaSuisse#GrazieSvizzera#GraziaSvizra pic.twitter.com/gNs6qYjOh6 — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) December 2, 2019
This year's commemorative Swiss coins included the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, the Furka Pass and the roe deer. The most recent sports-themed commemorative coin came out in 2015 and celebrated Hornussen - a traditional Swiss sport played by farmers involving a puck and a stick.