Great Coin from France

A beautiful coin from France. Anyone have any comments?  

8 years ago

I love these Napoleon 40 Franc pieces. If you look into them there are three dating systems or numbering types, collect all three! These are common in XF but the prices for nice Unc's shoots up dramatically. The 1812 is a good date, not because it's scarcer but because of the defeat and disastrous retreat of Napoleon's forces from Russia. Tchaikovsky's 1812 Symphony, complete with authentic cannon fire, commemorated this event. When it comes to price, historical interest and decent gold content, these are hard to beat. I've included a photo of the earliest issue, note the dating and Napoleon portrait style.

The FIRST YEAR issue used the Revolutionary dating system with Roman numerals. This one year type is seen here with AN XI as the issue year (~1803). The next issue year bore the date AN 12, using Arabic numbers rather than Roman numerals. Later still, in 1806, the coin date system was changed again to a familiar western system.
Years are counted since the establishment of the first French Republic on 22 September 1792. That day became 1 Vendemiaire of the year 1 of the Republic. (However, the Revolutionary Calendar was not introduced until 24 November 1793.) So the dates do not easily correspond to today's western date system.

8 years ago
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