1 - NUMISMATIQUE - MONNAIES - COINS
- French Numismatic -
Translated by Michael E. Ontko, Vice President of the Greater Orange County Coin Club - U.S.A
3- The silver francs of the sixteenth century
This period, between 1575 and 1586, unfolded during the Wars of Religion (to the number of eight between 1560 and 1598) where Protestant opposed Catholic in a bloody civil war.
The king Henry III, with the ordinance of May 31, 1575, created a new silver coin with the value of 20 sols tournois (one livre tournois). The gold écu was set at 60 sols; this coin of 20 sols was struck in .833 fine silver with the weight of 14.188 grams.
This coin corresponded to the value of the medieval gold FRANC, naturally, the coin took the name of FRANC d'ARGENT (silver franc).
The FRANC equaled 1/3 écu, the half franc 1/6 écu and the quarter franc 1/12 écu.
The king Henry II of Navarre (the future Henry IV) also had them struck at his mints of Pau, Morlaas and Saint-Palais.
Due to constant clipping, the coinage of FRANCS was suspended for good on October 13, 1586, although mints held by the Catholic League continued after the death of the king to strike FRANCS in his name.
Despite some patterns of Henry IV (1589-1610) and Louis XIII (1610-1643), the FRANC was used only as a money of account ; only half francs and quarter francs were struck until 1642.
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