Posts Tagged ‘France’

France, 10 francs, 1980

April 6, 2011

No repeats today. Probability is weird, eh?

France, 10 francs, 1980 (KM #940)


This is the same coin as the one featured on March 9th, just three years younger (and still a handsome coin). Mintage is 80,010,011.

Metal Nickel-Brass
Weight 10 g
Diameter 26.01 mm
Thickness 2.54 mm
Engraver Atelier de Paris (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

Advertisements

Vichy France, 1 franc, 1943

March 27, 2011

And here is today’s coin.

Vichy France, 1 franc, 1943 (KM #902.1)


This coin is a companion piece to the Vichy 2 francs featured on March 5th. I’ve always found it interesting that the Vichy government changed that national motto from the revolutionary “liberte, egalite, fraternite” to “travail, familie, patrie”. It illustrates that Petain’s pro-German government stressed loyalty to family and fatherland than to any brotherhood bound by liberty. The message is clear… the state is your friend, and your neighbor isn’t.

Metal is aluminum.
Mintage is unreported.
Weight 1.6 g
Diameter 23 mm
Engraver L.Bazor (obverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Demonetized yes

France, 20 francs, 1952

March 20, 2011

This is the coin for Saturday, March 19th.

France, 20 francs, 1952 (KM #917.1)


At the time of its minting, this was the third smallest coin in France by value. (The smallest was the 5 franc coin.) Mintage is 130,281,000.

Metal Aluminum bronze
Weight 4 g
Diameter 23.5 mm
Thickness 1.66 mm
Engraver G. Guiraud (reverse)
Shape Round
Demonetized 01-01-1970

France, 10 francs, 1977

March 9, 2011

This coin is nice and hefty. Wish our dollar coin had this much seriousness in hand.

France, 10 francs, 1977 (KM #940)


When France discontinued the silver 10-franc coin in 1973, this was the replacement. This coin is a thick chunk of brass with a handsome dark patina like old wine. The labor and industry motifs on the coin, the electrified French hexagon on the obverse and the shipyard/construction scene on the reverse, suggest that France is hard at work. The edge had nice deep lettering and a few agricultural motifs, to suggest that France more than just hard hats and steel girders. I love the balance of old and new on this coin, looking forward and backward at the same time. Even the little details like the clean sans serif font on the reverse but the old-style serif font on the edge, reinforces this. Mathieu, your work gets high marks by me.

Of course, this is a dead coin from a dead currency. It might have been exchangable for euros, but that window has closed. Mintage quantity is 100,052,511 in ’77.

Metal Nickel-Brass
Weight 10 g
Diameter 26.01 mm
Thickness 2.54 mm
Engraver Atelier de Paris (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

Vichy France, 2 francs, 1943

March 5, 2011

Axis money, a little bit of World War II history.

Vichy France, 2 francs, 1943 (KM #904.1)


After the fall of the French Third Republic to invading Nazi forces in 1940, a pro-German government was set up in Vichy. Philippe Petain led France as an effective puppet state of the Third Reich until the French republican government returned from exile in 1945. The Vichy regime minted coins from 1941 to 1944, all in either aluminum or zinc. The lack of mintmark on this coin indicates that it was struck at the mint in Paris. Mintage in 1943 is 3,000 shy of 107 million, making this a common coin.

So far, this is the oldest coin featured here.

Metal Aluminum
Weight 2.2 g
Diameter 27 mm
Thickness 1.7 mm
Engraver L. Bazor
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

France, 10 francs, 1954-B

March 3, 2011

Here’s an oldie….

France, 10 francs, 1954 B (KM #915.2)


The venerable French franc, dating back to the days of the French Revolution, finally met its end in 1960, when it was revalued 100 to 1. Francs became centimes, and centimes became scrap metal. That is why this old ten-franc coin is made to the same specs as the 10-centime coin that replaced it in 1962; they both had the same legal tender value. Now, thanks to the euro, all franc-era coins are worthless for spending.

The B mintmark on this coin specifies the Mint in Beaumont, but which one of the several Beaumonts in France I cannot tell.

Metal Aluminum bronze
Weight 3.04 g
Diameter 20 mm
Thickness 1.64 mm
Engraver G. Guiraud
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized yes

France, 1 franc, 1973

February 12, 2011

It’s another French franc, similar to yesterday’s coin.

France, 1 franc, 1973 (KM #925.1)


This is the “normal” French franc that was made between 1960 and 2001, alongside which yesterday’s commemorative franc is meant to circulate. The sower design dates back to the 1890s, and has become a national emblem of France; the sower is still depicted on some French euro coins. Mintage is 70,000,000.

Metal Nickel
Weight 6 g
Diameter 24 mm
Thickness 1.79 mm
Engraver O. Roty (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment
Demonetized 02-17-2002

France, 1 franc, 1988 (De Gaulle)

February 11, 2011

What’s this… a commemorative?

France, 1 franc, 1988 (De Gaulle) (KM #963)


Yes, this coin commemorates the 30th anniversary of the death of Charles De Gaulle, WWII leader and man who dominated French politics in the Forties and Fifties. This franc is meant to circulate, kind of like our bicentennial quarters. The mintage of the De Gaulle franc is 49,908,000, and it is no longer legal tender.

EDIT: Wikipedia says De Gaulle died in 1970, not 1958, so I’m not sure what point in De Gaulle’s life this coin commemorates.

Metal Nickel
Weight 6 g
Diameter 24 mm
Engraver E. Rousseau (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Demonetized 02-17-2002

France, 1 franc, 1958

February 9, 2011

This one is different.

France, 1 franc, 1958 (KM #885a.1)


This design for the French franc was used from 1932-1940 (in brass) and 1941-1959 (in aluminum), with a brief interruption during WWII when the Vichy government issued the “axe franc” instead. After the revaluation of the French franc in 1960, and the new franc’s replacement by the euro forty years after that, this coin is twice removed from legal tender status.

Mintage is 21,197,000
Metal Aluminum
Weight 1.3 g
Diameter 23 mm
Thickness 1.41 mm
Engraver P. A. Morlon
Shape Round
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Demonetized yes

France, 20 centimes, 1963

January 23, 2011

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