During the Iron Age, some tribes of the Celts colonised the territory of present-day Switzerland. Among them were the Helvetii and the Rhaetians, whose names were to lend their name to the modern state structures of Switzerland much later. Early in the Roman Empire, Switzerland was integrated into the empire and enjoyed the amenities of Roman culture and way of life. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic tribes such as the Alemanni populated the area in a loose sequence until it was finally conquered by the Franks. In the early Middle Ages noble families such as the Habsburgs and Rudolfinger then dominated the political events in the mountainous region.
In 1291, the so-called Urkantone Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden formed a covenant to protect their "old liberties". The Confederation as a form of social organization was born and has always determined the political identity of Switzerland.
Swiss Numismatics has a wide variety of denominations, styles and types, as befits the eventful history of the area. One of the most important mints is Basel. Coins struck here can be found almost from all periods of Swiss history: be it Carolingian denarii, medieval gold guilders or modern-day batzen.