The ANS’s Greatest Coins: The Franc, more than a coin, a currency, and an orphan

The ANS’s Greatest Coins series examines coins in the American Numismatic Society’s collection, carefully selected for their historical fame.

The Franc started as a gold coin almost seven centuries ago. Later on, it spread on five continents, with the fortunes and misfortunes of French imperial history. Then gold became base metal and paper, and the Franc adopted quite many different faces from many different cultures. However, with the creation of the Euro, the Franc is now an orphan, albeit thriving in about 25 countries and autonomous territories outside of France.