Author Topic: The French and their 'essai' coins  (Read 282 times)

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Offline <k>

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The French and their 'essai' coins
« on: June 15, 2020, 11:15:14 PM »
The French word 'essai' translates as 'trial' in English. The Paris Mint has struck coins for many countries and in particular for those that were formerly French colonies.

The word 'ESSAI' can be found stamped on my 'trial' versions of these coins. Usually, however, these 'essais' are exactly the same as the standard versions - the only difference being that the word 'ESSAI' is stamped on one side of them!

Here I will show you just a few of these 'essais' from different countries.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 11:15:41 PM »


French Somaliland.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2020, 11:16:38 PM »


Central African States, 500 francs, 1976.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 11:17:23 PM »


Togo.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 11:18:36 PM »


Comoros.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 11:19:20 PM »


Rwanda.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 11:19:42 PM »


Reunion.
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Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 11:21:12 PM »
I have made my point. I suppose that these versions are made for collectors, so that they can have 'variations'.

My question is, given that there are so many of these versions, has anybody ever seen examples of them in circulation in any country?
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 06:51:48 PM »
I can answer two of your three questions:

I suppose that these versions are made for collectors, so that they can have 'variations'.

Yes, they are sold to collectors, though I can't tell you why they buy them. The question I cannot answer is implicit: "Are they used for any other purpose?".

My question is, given that there are so many of these versions, has anybody ever seen examples of them in circulation in any country?

No. Given that they are sold wildly above face, it would be utterly foolish to spend them at face. That does not mean that accidents are impossible, but if accidents count, an incredible number of foreign coins would "circulate" in just about any country.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2020, 07:08:01 PM »
Well, it's good to know that they do not circulate - though probably the Asperger's brigade, who collect the tiniest variations, will be sad.  :D
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Offline chrisild

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2020, 03:24:29 PM »
The French "Monnaie Magazine" asked that question last year, and made a short article about it. :)

Certaines pièces portent la mention « essai ». Hormis cette particularité, elles sont identiques en tous points aux pièces de la même catégorie (taille, poids, inscriptions…). Seule cette mention spéciale diffère. Pourquoi ?

Some coins have the inscription "essai". Apart from that particularity, they are exactly the same as the (regular) coins regarding the size, the weight, and the inscriptions. Only that text is different. Why?

End of my on-the-fly translation. The article explains that these essai pieces are some kind of last test drive, and many do not even leave the mint.

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: The French and their 'essai' coins
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2020, 05:54:44 PM »
Thank you, nice article.

'when a coin mint is validated by the authorities, and the issuing institute is ready to manufacture it in number, a first series is issued in reduced quantity to verify that the future coin will be perfect. This series is marked to differentiate it from the coins that will be minted afterwards. These “test” pieces are therefore often very rare, since few copies are made, and in states of conservation close to new'.

But many are not rare at all, since they can easily be found for sale.
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