World of Coins

Modern coins, pseudo coins and trade tokens of other continents => Pacific Islands => Topic started by: Bimat on November 25, 2012, 11:28:06 AM

Title: Coinage of French Polynesia
Post by: Bimat on November 25, 2012, 11:28:06 AM

Sunday, 25 November 2012

French Polynesia which is located in the region of South Pacific is made up of six groups of islands which include the Marquesas Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands, the Bass Islands and the Society Islands, scattered over 2.5 million km² / 1 million m² of the South Pacific, with the total land area of 4,200 km² / 1,600 m². Among these islands, the most populous and the most famous island which is also well known in tourism is Tahiti, located in the Society Islands, which was also one of the first two islands to be settled by the indigenous Polynesians.

The French began establishing all these islands to be under the French control in 1842. In 1903, after all these islands were successfully annexed by France, the islands were officially forming the colony known collectively as the "French Settlements in Oceania" or "French Oceania". The Polynesians that resided in these islands were then given the French citizenship in 1946 and the islands were renamed as "French Polynesia" which happened in 1957.

Before the French Polynesia issued their own currency, the French francs were circulating in these islands. The French Polynesia began to introduce its own banknotes for common use in these islands in 1914 and its own coins in 1949.

The first banknotes were issued by the Banque de l'Indochine which introduced the 5, 20 and 100 francs notes. The Chamber of Commerce introduced notes for 25 and 50 centimes, 1 and 2 francs in 1919 which was also introduced by the Banque Andre Krajewski in 1920. In 1923, the Banque de l'Indochine introduced 500 franc banknotes and followed by the introduction of 1,000 francs banknotes in 1940.

In 1969, the issuance of paper money was taken over by the French Central Bank called the Institut d'Emission d'Outre-Mer which began introducing the 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 francs notes. The 100 francs banknotes were replaced by coins in 1976.

In 1985, the banknotes issued to French Polynesia were also the common use in all the French overseas territories in the Pacific, which began introducing the 10,000 francs, and between 1992 and 1996 the 500, 1,000 and 5,000 francs notes were issued.

The first French Polynesia coins that were introduced in 1949 were the 50 centimes, 1 and 2 francs made from aluminium and were followed by the aluminium 5 francs in 1952. During these times, the coins issued had the word "Oceanie" inscribed on the coins which was then changed to "Polynesie Francaise" on the reverse in 1965 after the islands were renamed as French Polynesia. Two years later in 1967, the 10, 20 and 50 francs which were made from nickel were introduced. In 1976, nickel-bronze 100 francs were introduced.

About the Author

Matt Kasmani began collecting coins and banknotes when he was young. He shared his passion with his father that consisted of the combined collection from almost all parts of the world, inclusive of the coins from the late 19th century. To see his collections or if you need some help about numismatic visit

Source: Melodika (