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Frappe des monnaies de collection en or - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin
20 Francs Or Napoléon III, 1864, Strasbourg (BB) - © Monnaie de Paris
100 Francs en Or de Lucien Bazor (1935/36) - © Monnaie de Paris | Dominique Antérion

Through the centuries

Known as the Sower, the Rooster, and Hercules, the gold and silver coins are the successors of the Louis d’Or, the Napoleon, and the silver 50- and 100-franc coins. Used routinely until the First World War, these common gold and silver coins were not considered legal tender after 1928, with the exception of the 100 franc gold Bazor (1929-1936) and certain silver coins, until their return in 2008.
Since the end of the 20th century, Monnaie de Paris has also minted collection coins commemorating major events, and depicting French symbols and places. They are a delight for coin lovers and precious metal enthusiasts. 


Vérification après chaque passe des monnaies de collection - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin


With the advent of the euro, common silver coins disappeared from circulation in France, despite their appreciation, until the arrival of the Sower in 2008. Designed for collection and circulation, these coins—which are the result of a decree from the Finance Minister—are legal tender in France and have a face value close to their market value: they represent a low risk investment, though their value appreciates over time given their preciousness and rarity. 


Frappe flan vierge pour une monnaie or Astérix et les Valeurs de la République - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin

What about mint quality?

There are three hierarchical qualities of minted coins:

  • Standard quality for all common metal coins manufactured at our Pessac factory;
  • BU: Brillant Universel, or Brilliant Uncirculated quality: used for coins produced in limited series and minted with new tools;
  • BE, Belle Epreuve, or Proof quality: optimum quality coins with a special finish to lend the final product an exquisite appearance.
Coins de frappe de monnaies BE - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin

Proof quality: the standard of excellence in the art of currency

Proof quality is the highest numismatic standard. Prior to minting, the die receives a unique finish in order to achieve crisp pattern relief and flawless fields, with colour and surface effects like polished, matte, satin, and sandblasted.
The craftsman meticulously selects the planchets, and the coins are stuck one at a time with the utmost care. A number of our collection coins are manufactured in proof quality. 

Retouche par le graveur d'un plâtre de la Monnaie Baccarat 2014 - © Monnaie de Paris | Jean-Marc Martin

Supporting creation

Gold and silver coins are the realm of expression for our engravers trained in the graphic arts, as well as for renowned artists (Sempé, Uderzo, Lagerfeld, Lacroix, Starck, etc.).
Whereas the collection coins celebrate French culture, the gold and silver coins depict themes that are dear to the French people: our regions, the values of our Republic, and our currency symbols reinterpreted as the Sower, the Rooster, etc.