or more correctly Rappe, is a corruption of Rabe, a raven, and was bestowed originally on small silver coins struck at Freibni'g in Breisgau in the fourteenth century. See Denarii Corvo- rum.
The name was afterwards applied to all coins having the figure of this bird and consequently we find the expressions Rap- penheller, Rappenschillinge, etc.
In the Swiss cantons the Rappen was for- merly the tenth part of the Batzen, but since the introduction of the Latin Union system, the Rappen was made equal to the Centime, and is struck in copper as the one hundredth part of the Franc. Multiples exist in nickel.
Source: Frey's Dictionary (American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 50, 1916)