Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Ben
French Silver Coins
For those interested in owning some of the most beautiful silver coins ever made, you should take a look at French Silver Coins. The coins have a long and storied tradition that has spanned many centuries. They range from Francs minted before France was even united during the French Revolution to more current commemorative Franc and Euro coins. These silver coins provide unique variety to any portfolio or collection.
The French Silver Coins are a rare and valuable find. These coins were produced in the early 1800s and have been in circulation for over 200 years.
Investing in this coin will allow you to not only create wealth but also preserve it as well. One of these silver coins can be purchased at any time from many dealers around the world or through online purchase. So if you’re thinking about making some investments, then check out what French Silver Coins have to offer.
Collectible French Coins
After the French Revolution, in 1795, France adopted a decimal monetary system wherein 100 centimes equaled 1 franc. Early gold francs of the 1800s featured the image of Napoleon, who ruled as Emperor for a decade until 1814.
Some coins minted during the 19th century were silver and gold francs, copper, bronze centimes. One interesting coin is one from 1860 that features a bust of Napoleon III with his head crowned as an Emperor. This makes it highly preferred by collectors who like to see their favorite monarch on currency pieces.
After World War I, gold was no longer used as a way for French coins to be made. Metal such as nickel and bronze were used instead. During the Second World War, coins in five-, 10-, and 25-cent denominations were holed. The occupied Vichy government also minted coins out of zinc and aluminum during this time.
French Silver Coins History and Background
The Paris Mint, one of the oldest buildings in France, has been producing coins for nearly 1,000 years. These date back to the establishment of the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) in 864. It keeps a huge collection of old coins minted across the centuries.
In 1795, the French government implemented a decimal system to simplify its currency. Prior to this time, France’s value of one franc was equivalent to 100 centimes in their previous counting system. In the early 1800s, these gold and silver coins featured Napoleon’s bust until his defeat at the hands of British forces.
French silver coins from the 19th century are especially appealing. Many collectors will find these particularly intriguing because they showcase Napoleon III’s bust with a wreath crowning his head and 1860s 50 franc coins being exceptionally popular among them.
After World War I, the French government suspended the use of silver and gold coins. These were replaced by less expensive metals such as nickel, cupro-nickel, bronze, and aluminum.
France has a long history of minting coins with silver, but during the World War II occupation, it had to use zinc and aluminum. After rebuilding in post-WWII France, silver was revived as material for collecting and circulating coins.
Up to 2002, the Paris Mint struck coins in silver with several denominations of Francs. Since then, France has adopted the Euro and, since that time, they have been producing a range of commemorative euros denominated silver coins.
French Silver Coins Physical Characteristics
One of the mint’s most widely sought-after coins is the silver 50 Francs coin produced between 1974 and 1979. A lot of people who collect coins believe that these are the most beautiful of circulated European coins. This coin was made of 90% silver and had a weight amounting to 0.8682 ounces, which is the same as .8682 troy ounces. They had more silver than American dollars. These coins were worth 50 francs and could be used in France.
The one-ounce Silver 50 Francs Hercules has these specifications:
- Mass: 30 grams
- Thickness: 2.8 mm
- Diameter: 41.2 mm
- Content: 90% silver
The front of these coins contains a large lettering inscription with the denomination at its center. Around this script, there is an intricately detailed wreath found on both sides of the coin. The word “Republique Francaise” can be seen surrounding it in the French language, and around the bottom rim were dates when each coin was struck.
The reverse of the coin features a phrase meaning liberty, equality, and fraternity (arching across the top rim) in French. One side is emblazoned with an image of Hercules flanked by two women promoting his feats from ancient Greece. This design makes them unlike any other coins on earth.
French Silver Coins Pricing
One reason French silver coins are so interesting is that their denominations have had two different currencies over the years. The Silver Hercules coin features a denomination of 50 francs. Franc denominated coins can no longer be spent in France, but euro coins that were minted from 2002 onward function as legal tender. Despite this, nobody spends these coins at their face value. The reason for this is because the silver coins have a higher market value than the euro face value implies.
The Face Value of a coin is the minimum market value. The intrinsic market value varies based on supply and demand and how much silver is in the coin. This includes the primary market average for these coins. Like all precious metals, the value will fluctuate over time, and what’s offered today may not be available in a week’s time.
Can IRA Accounts Contain French Silver Coins?
The decision about which silver coins can be held in precious metals IRA retirement accounts is up to the IRS. They look at silver coins and bars to see which ones meet their standards. They include those in their self-directed IRAs.
To open an IRA account, people need to make a minimum purchase of $5,000 in gold or other precious metals. If they want to invest more in precious metal, you can buy more with $1,000 increments.
Investing in physical silver can help make your retirement account more secure. It would be great if you diversified your investments, so you can have a safer future. Silver prices do not have a lot of correlation with stocks and bonds. So they are a good investment. Silver coins can protect you from what is happening with gold, platinum, and palladium. They are more affordable than those metals.
Silver bullion coins are not allowed in self-directed IRAs if they are too collectible or lack the right purity levels. French silver coins like the Silver 50 Franc Hercules were made with .900 fine silver. This is below the IRS mandated minimum of coins in these IRAs that must be made of .999 silver.
Newer French celebratory silver coins denominated in Euros are a great way to invest your money but be wary of the high collectible premium. This is why the IRS does not allow French silver coins in an IRA account. French silver coins are still attractive to collect. They can also be good investments for other purposes. Coins can be bought from many different places. They are sold in many countries, especially in Europe and the world.
If you’re looking for an investment that will not only help you create wealth in the present but also preserve it in the future, then look no further than French Silver Coins. One of these silver coins can be purchased at any time from many dealers around the world or through online purchase, so if you are thinking about making some investments in a coin to add to your collection, this might just be what you need.