French coins today are monetary units that have a high degree of protection against counterfeiting. At the moment they are called Euros, but they are somewhat faceless. But the old banknotes differed and memorable appearance, and a variety of names. We’ll talk about them.
First french coins
The French coin owes its appearance to the Roman, which appeared in the country around the 5th-6th centuries. At this time in France began an intense influx of banknotes. Pure gold was used to make the first of them, but after some time it became clear that the precious metal quickly becomes soft and erases without any impurities. Therefore, silver began to be added to the issued coins, and in some cases - copper, due to which the banknotes became stronger and more reliable.
Medieval french coins
The beginning of the Hundred Years War was marked by the appearance of the first generally accepted state currency - the franc. The French gold coin had an image of the king and an inscription in Latin FRANCORUM REX (which meant "king of the francs"). The king was depicted on this coin riding a horse, which is why it began to be called the people "equestrian" franc. But when the image was changed to a king, standing at full height, the coin became a “foot franc”.
Frank was released from gold in France only until the middle of the XV century, and when Louis XI came to power, the golden ecu replaced the named coin. Already in the years 1575-1586 began to mint a silver franc. Its weight was 14.188 g, and the silver from which it was produced was 833.
Such coins were in use until 1642. The issue of banknotes at that time was controlled by French cities. Aristocrats at the same time decided to issue their own coins. And so in the territory controlled by England, Anglo-Gallic francs began to appear.
Gold coins of France XVII-XVIII centuries.
French coins in the XVII century began to produce from high quality gold. They were called louis. This old French coin first appeared during the reign of King Louis XIII.
Luidor has become the main banknote. There were many of these banknotes, and they all had a difference in size and weight. Most of them weighed 4-6 g. But there was also a record gold coin, which weighed about 10 g. The obverse of the louis was decorated with the image of the king.
They were minted until the very beginning of the French Revolution and until the franc became the main coin for the calculation.
When Napoleon I came to power, a Napoleon appeared. Its face value was 20 francs. Gold Napoleondor is divided among collectors into the following types:
- Emperor Napoleon;
- First Consul Napoleon;
- coins with a wreath;
- coins without a wreath;
- with the year of manufacture indicated by numbers;
- with the year of coinage denoted by letters.
Even after overthrowing the emperor and rebuilding the monarchy, the manufacture of Napoleonders continued. The royal profiles were depicted on the obverse of the gold coins, and the royal coat of arms was on the reverse.
The last of the monarchs, during which the Napoleonders were minted, was King Louis Philippe I.
During the prosperity of the II Republic, a coin of gold, the face value of which was 20 francs, gained immense popularity. And they called her "Angel." At the end of the 18th century, it was released in the first edition to replace the old louisdor. On the obverse there was an angel depicting the French Constitution.
At the same time, a 20-franc gold coin was also minted for the first time. It depicted the goddess of fertility and harvest of Ceres. This banknote was issued in only three editions.
The cost of gold French coins
For collectors, old gold coins are very valuable . They are minted from high-quality precious metal and can cost tens of thousands of rubles, and some of them can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And the main component of the value of ancient gold and silver French coins among numismatists is how much they were issued and in what condition they are.