France, 20 centimes, 1963

Here’s another golden oldie.

France, 20 centimes, 1963 (KM #930)


France minted this coin from 1962 to 2001, starting with the ten-to-one revalued “noveau franc” in 1960 and ending with its replacement by the euro in 2002. Two motifs on this coin, lady liberty on the obverse and the phrase “liberte, egalite, fraternite” on the reverse, hearken back to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Of course, being pre-euro, this coin is no longer legal tender, and not really rare enough to command numismatic value.

One thing I’ve recently learned about French coins is privy marks. This coin, like all French coins of its era, bears two symbols, one on either side of the date. The one on the left is a cornucopia, which I think is the mintmark of the Paris Mint. The symbol on the right is the privy mark, representing a head official in French financial affairs (though I’ll admit I’m not sure which one). All coins minted during that individual’s tenure bear this personal mark, and it rotates as successors take office. This coin bears the owl mark Raymond Joly used from 1958 to 1974. American coins have never used an equivalent of a privy mark.

Metal Copper-Aluminium-Nickel
Weight 4 g
Diameter 23.5 mm
Thickness 1.4 mm
Engravers Lagriffoul (obverse)
A. Dieudonné (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

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