French coins from the 1950s until the introduction of the euro

Started by <k>, February 21, 2020, 11:07:23 PM

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<k>

From 1966 a similar 5 centimes coin was issued, to replace the stainless steel version, which had been issued for the final time in 1964.
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<k>

The 50 centimes coin, with a diameter of 25 mm and a weight of 7 grams, was considered too heavy. So, from 1964 through to 2001, a new nickel half franc coin replaced the aluminium-brass 50 centimes coin, with which it initially co-circulated.

The half franc weighed 4.5 grams and had a diameter of 19.5 mm.


The obverse and reverse of the new coin revived Louis-Oscar Roty's classic obverse and reverse designs from early in the 20th century.

Roty had died in 1911, and often you find the words 'd'après Roty' on modern coins bearing his old designs, meaning 'after' or 'in the style of' Roty.


Below: the sower.
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<k>

Below, the reverse of the half franc, showing an olive branch.
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<k>

A similar 1 franc coin, using Roty's designs, had been issued from 1960 onward. Below you see the reverse of the coin.
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<k>

A silver 5 francs coin showing Roty's sower on the obverse was issued from 1959 up to and including 1969, but from 1969 a copper-nickel version initially co-circulated with it and then replaced it.

The reverse showed Roty's classic design of a poppy (symbolic of peace), barley (for food and agriculture), acorns (for strength) and olives (for peace).

Below you see a copper-nickel version, dated 1979.
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<k>

From 1965 to 1973 a silver 10 francs coin was issued. Its design, which featured Hercules, was taken from an old 5 francs coin of the Second Republic. That original design was the work of Augustin Dupré.

The coin was 37 mm in diameter and weighed 25 grams.

The Hercules coins were used for paying state pensions. Pensioners would go to the local Post Office to claim their pension, which would be paid in cash, in a paper bag. The bag would contain a Hercules coin. They could be sold above par, providing a bonus income to pensioners without cost to the government. Therefore, neither the essais nor the Hercules coins saw circulation, except for accidents and ignorance.
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<k>





In 1974 a new circulating 10 francs coin was issued. It continued to be issued into 1987.

The coin weighed 10 grams. It was 26 mm in diameter and 2.5 mm thick.

Above you see the obverse design, which shows a map of metropolitan France.

Flashes pointing to Paris are superimposed by the initials 'RF' for the Republic of France.

This exuberant design was the work of Georges Mathieu. It seems to capture the essence of the 1970s.
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<k>





The equally exuberant reverse design of the 10 francs coin was also the work of Georges Mathieu.

It shows a stylised representation of industry, including cranes, electric pylons and possibly and oil rig.

The coin was made of copper-nickel-aluminium.

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<k>

In 1979 a new denomination was issued: a 2 francs coin. The coin was made of nickel, and its obverse and reverse designs were similar to those of the ½, 1 and 5 francs coins.

The words 'd'après Roty' on the obverse allude to Oscar Roty's original design of the sower.

A new feature was the inner polygonal rim of the coin. See: Circular coins that have an inner polygonal rim.
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<k>

The reverse of the 2 francs coin. The design featured olives and acorns.

The coin was issued up to and including the year 2001.
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<k>

In 1986 a new 10 francs coin was issued. It was intended to replace the previous circulation 10 francs coin.

This new coin was smaller, at 21 mm in diameter and weighing only 6.5 grams. It was made of nickel.

Engraver Joaquin Jimenez produced a new design of Marianne for the obverse and a design of a stylised cockerel for the reverse.

In practice, the coin proved too close in size and appearance to the half franc coin, so its production was not continued.
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<k>

In 1988 a commemorative circulating nickel 1 franc coin was issued to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the inauguration of the Fifth Republic by President de Gaulle.
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<k>

Also in 1988, a new circulating 10 francs was issued. It was bimetallic, having a nickel centre within a copper-aluminium ring. At this stage in the 1980s, bimetallic circulation coins were still relatively novel. It was 23 mm in diameter and weighed 6.5 grams.

The obverse and reverse designs were the work of Jean Luc Maréchal. The obverse, seen below, depicted the Génie de la Liberté, a famous sculpture in Paris that stands atop the July Column.
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<k>

The reverse of the bimetallic 10 francs coin.
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<k>

France 20 francs 1998.jpg


In 1992 a trimetallic circulating 20 francs coin was issued.

It had an inner copper-aluminium-nickel core, a nickel middle ring and a copper-aluminium-nickel outer ring.

The coin was 27 mm in diameter and weighed 9 grams.

The attractive obverse design of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy was the work of Jean-Pierre Réthoré.
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