American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars: The History of Money

Coins of the World


At the beginning of the century, France retained the republican government that had been established in 1870. However, continued animosity between France and Germany led to the massive devastation of the country in World War I and the loss of freedom under the Nazi-controlled Vichy regime during World War II. France again became a free republic after its liberation in 1944.

Silver franc (1914) of the Third Republic (1870-1940). This coin depicts Marianne, the personification of the French Republic, sowing the seeds of liberty. The design, created in 1898, has been the standard for the franc until today.


Aluminum 2 francs (1944) of the Vichy Period (1940-1944) depicting a double-headed axe flanked by grain ears.


Aluminum-bronze 2 francs piece (1944) produced by the U.S. Mint for the Allied troops invading Nazi-occupied France in 1944.


Aluminum-bronze 50 centimes (1963) of the Fifth Republic (1958-present) depicting Marianne.