In spring of 1503, perhaps even earlier, the three cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden started to strike coins in Bellinzona. This, on the one hand, demonstrated their power over the recently conquered city, and on the other hand promised a good business. To improve the acceptance of these Swiss coins in northern Italy, the three cantons had the serpent of the Sforza, the ruling family of Milan, depicted on their money. On this kreuzer, the snake is beneath the eagle on the reverse. The coins circulated primarily in the region of Bellinzona and the neighboring territories, yet they also crossed the Alps to the northern part of Switzerland.