Author Topic: Please help identify this French medal  (Read 179 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Please help identify this French medal
« on: November 10, 2020, 12:10:40 PM »
This is a beautiful 41mm silver medal I came across recently and would appreciate help in identifying it. Is it somehow connected to the EU?

Many thanks,

Bruce
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2020, 12:38:16 PM »
As you wrote, it is French – you see the signature of Pierre Rodier who was the chief engraver (graveur général) at the French mint (Monnaie de Paris). The ECU is short for the European Currency Unit which, in January 1999, "became" the euro. So in that regard, the medal is indeed connected to the European Union. But it is not an EU issue, and (apart from a few collector pieces e.g. from Belgium) there were no ECU coins or notes. If you do a Google-or-whatever search for rodier ecu, you will see quite a few more, similar medals. :)

Christian

Offline brandm24

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2020, 04:46:49 PM »
Thanks, Christian. Now that you mention it, I do recall seeing information on the ECU before. I like the look of this medal a lot. It's well crafted, and at 41mm, has a very impressive look to it.

Bruce
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2020, 05:54:57 PM »
Nice design indeed, with those little "coins" representing the participating currencies*. (And each of these mini-coins has a design element that either refers to the country or was even taken from an actual coin design.) Apparently those medals were issued, with slightly different designs, for many years. See here: https://en.numista.com/catalogue/exonumia-70.html (On that page, scroll down a little to see the first ones, then go to page 71 etc.)

* For 1985, see the middle row (1984-89) here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Currency_Unit#Currency_basket (At that time the Belgian and Luxembourg francs were in a currency union, that is why both are depicted on the medal while that row in the table has a dash in the LUF box. :) )

Christian

Offline jezuss

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2020, 07:13:02 PM »
pictures of other tokens from this series :

http://www.jezuss.nl/ec/ecu-eu.htm


Offline Paris

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2020, 10:09:16 PM »
After the decision to have a common money was taken but before knowing the name "euro" would be adopted, many so-called coins or banknotes in ecus have been issued locally for being usued during a short period. These ecus were not suprational and even not national : usually they were for one village or city during one or two weeks, and sometimes even just for the shops in one street of the city. Now we call these coins "pre euros". But the word ECU has been used in some medals which have never been exchangeables, like yours.
Usually the price for pre-euros is very low today as almost nobody is collecting them.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 12:05:31 AM »
The Belgian ECU coins actually had legal tender status. (I think they were the only ones; not sure though.) Not sure whether anybody actually used them to make payments. ;D They ceased to be legal tender on 1 Jan 1999, when the euro was launched.

Now there were French ECU coins (such as this one), but their legal tender status was based on the fact that they had a face value of, say, 100 francs and also indicated the (rough) value of 15 ecus. And then there were lots of those that you mentioned: issued locally, mostly as "promo material" for a Europe Day or Europe Week in some city or region. They are indeed not really sought after these days, but quite a few actually have attractive designs. :)

Christian

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 07:53:22 AM »
I have a set of "proof piedfort patterns" of UK ECU "coins" - 0.10, 0.25, 0.50, 1, 2, 5 and 10 ecu (the 2 ecu is illustrated below). They all have the same obverse, with various UK-specific themes on the reverse, and in this they are similar to both the real euro coinage and the fantasy euros you often see produced for entities that are not currently in the euro. I think these are a slightly different category from what Christian mentions about promo materials for a "Europe week" or similar. They aren't explicitly tied to a particular place or event, although 1992 was the year the UK held the presidency of the Council of Ministers, so that may be significant.

The later "fantasy euros" come in many forms for many different countries and territories, but following a small number of standard "EU-side" designs that make me think they are all produced by one or a few makers. Are there any others in the style of the one below from other countries, or is this a specifically UK series?

Offline jezuss

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 08:09:59 AM »
Are there any others in the style of the one below from other countries, or is this a specifically UK series?

same reverse with different country names :
http://www.jezuss.nl/ec/ecu1992gb.htm

other ecu's :
http://www.jezuss.nl/ec/ecu.htm


Offline FosseWay

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2020, 08:14:04 AM »
Thanks!

I have the set of five normal-thickness 1 ecus for each of the countries of the UK plus the UK itself (the latter is just a thinner version of the one in the set I mentioned before). But I haven't seen this obverse design with the globe, rays, two allegorical supporters and "EUROPE * EUROPA" on pieces associated with any country other than the UK.

Offline jezuss

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2020, 08:19:01 AM »
Thanks!

I have the set of five normal-thickness 1 ecus for each of the countries of the UK plus the UK itself (the latter is just a thinner version of the one in the set I mentioned before). But I haven't seen this obverse design with the globe, rays, two allegorical supporters and "EUROPE * EUROPA" on pieces associated with any country other than the UK.

i only know the pieces on my web site. i have never seen these for other countries.

Offline Paris

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Re: Please help identify this French medal
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2020, 10:20:43 AM »
Thanks Christian, I did not know the Belgian ones had had a legal status. In France, ECU was only an accountancy unity I think (like the livre before the decimal system).
Belgium already had an experience on coins, banknotes and accountancy in two currencies with the belga from 1926 to 1946 simultaneously with the franc. What an interesting country for numismatists ! I should have been a Belgian.