If You Possess Any of These 13 French Coins, They Could Earn You Up to $456,000

If you travel to France these days, you’ll be dealing in European currency rather than French currency. That’s been the case since 2000, when the country adopted the euro as its official currency. While the franc remains the official currency of 25 states or autonomous territories, according to the American Numismatic Society, the switch to the euro essentially ended a centuries-long era of French coins and notes. If you’re lucky enough to come across the right coin, you could become nearly half-a-million dollars richer.

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As the CoinValueLookup website noted, French coinage has a long and tumultuous history. For example, France’s King Jean II Le Bon passed a law that created the first franc in 1360, although coins had been produced before then. The new gold coins acted as “ransom payments” to release the king after he was captured by King Edward III of England.

About 300 years later, King Louis XII abolished the franc as legal currency and replaced it with the silver ecu and gold Louis coins. However, the term “franc” remained in use for many years after it was abolished.

Louis XIV oversaw many wars during his reign, which led to a severe coin shortage, according to CoinValueLookup. One result is that many coins of the era have a lot of value on the collectibles market.  

In 1726, the ruling government revived France’s troubled financial system by striking 20-pound, and then 24-pound, gold Louis coins. By the end of the 18th century, the term “franc” was reintroduced and a new law defined the composition of coins. Under that law, the franc coin would contain 4.5 grams of silver and 0.5 of alloy metal, for a total weight of five grams. The first 1-franc coin was minted in 1795.

Today, many French coins prized by dealers and collectors date to 1800 or earlier, though a few were minted in the 19th century. Here’s a look at 13 of the most valuable French coins, according to CoinValueLookup:

  • 1640 Louis XIII 10 Louis d’Or: $456,000 estimated value
  • 1670 Louis XIV 15 Sols: $132,000
  • 1803 Napoleon gold Proof Medallic Essai “Paris Mint Visit” 5 Francs, L’An XI: $95,00
  • 1270 Louis IX, Royal d’Or de Noyon: $60,00
  • 1646 Louis XIV, Double Louis d’Or: $56,000
  • 1815 Napoleon “100 Days” 5 Francs: $24,000
  • 1641 Louis XIII gold 2 Louis d’Or: $19,000
  • 1722 Louis XV gold coronation token: $18,000
  • 1724 Louis XV Double Louis d’Or “Mirliton”: $17,600
  • 1867 Napoleon III gold Proof Essai 25 Francs: $16,000
  • 1357 Aquitaine, Edward III, Gold Leopard d’Or: $15,000
  • 1815 Napoleon “100 Days” 2 Francs: $12,000
  • 1720 Louis XV, gold Louis d’Or: $9,600

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: If You Possess Any of These 13 French Coins, They Could Earn You Up to $456,000

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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