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French 10 Francs Marianne

Tavex is pleased to present one of Europe’s most famous historical gold coins, the French 10 franc rooster gold coin, also referred to as the “10 franc rooster and Marianne”. With a rich history of more than 600 years, the 10 franc gold coin recalls France’s former eminenceas one of the great powers of the 19th and 20th centuries.Standardised and authorised by Napoleon Bonaparte himself, the French 10 franc gold coin ranks among France’s most treasured and sought-after coins.

Displaying perfect uniformity and accuracy for over a century, French 10 franc gold coinsfacilitated world trade and became the basis for Europe’s first monetary union. With more than 100 million pieces, they are liquid and widely recognisedon the European bullion market. Beautifully designed and representing a charming and glamorous aspect of French culture, the 10 franc rooster and Marianne gold coin comes in an affordable weight, making it appropriate as a collector’s item, a gift, ora tangible gold investment.

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  1. 10 franc rooster and Marianne gold coinsare distinguished French bullion coins. The 10 franc gold coin is France’s most famous gold coin and likewise one of the best-known gold coins in Europe.
  2. 10 francrooster and Marianne gold coinsare money.They are exempt from Value Added Tax, and as suchare exchangeable throughout Europe by bullion dealers and investors alike.
  3. 10 francrooster and Marianne gold coinsare liquid.With more than onehundred millions pieces minted since the 1800s, French 10 franc gold coins have strong liquidity and a guaranteed market. 
  4. 10 francrooster and Marianne gold coinswere part of Europe’s first monetary union. The Frenchgold franc was the basis for the Latin Monetary Union, Europe’s first major currency union.
  5. 10 francrooster and Marianne gold coinsare an excellent way to diversify your portfolio. Gold’s low correlation with other financial assets makes French 10 franc rooster gold coins serve as a portfolio hedge against market risk.
  6. 10 francrooster gold coinsare the equivalent of savings.French 10 franc gold coinsare an ideal choice for any long-term saver who appreciates the security and stability of owning physical gold coins.

The origin of the French gold franc 

The fascinating history of the gold francbegan in the 14th century during the Hundred Years’ War. This was the time of a series of waged conflicts between France and Britain, and during the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, in France, the French King John II was captured by his English foes. The English sought a ransom for the French king, three million gold coins to be exact. Once the terms were agreed upon, King John was released, and his return from captivity was glorified with the introduction of a gold coin called the franc à cheval, meaning “free on horse”, alluding to how the King rode out as a free man. Although the new gold franc was there after used in trade throughout France, its uniformity was often subject to revaluation. This changed when Napoleon Bonaparte came to power at the beginning of the 1800s.     

Uniform French gold francswere authorised by Napoleon Bonaparte

Considered one of the world’s foremost military leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte, highly skilled in politics, managed during the end of the French revolution to assert himself as First Consul of the new French government. A staunch proponent of gold, he authorised the standardisation and creation of the Napoleon gold coin in 1803.  The new coin carried his effigy and was originally minted in two denominations, 20 and 40 francs. Denominations of 5, 10, 50 and 100 francs were later introduced and minted at various times, but the most popular and consequently most minted was the 20 franc gold coin. The first10 franc gold coin was introduced in 1850, weighing3.225 grams and containing 90% gold, or 2.902 grams of gold. 

The 10 franc gold coin was last issued in 1914, and although the design and the depicted effigy changed during this period, the coin’s denomination and uniformity stayed the same, contributing to the coin’s reputation and popularity as a trustworthy and accurate gold coin.  Consequently, all 10 franc gold coins minted in the 19th and 20th centuries are referred to as “Napoleons”.

The French 10 franc coin – the gold standard of Europe

Ironically, the gold francswere more successful in unifying Europe in terms of coinage, and consequently trade and prosperity, than what Napoleon sought to accomplish by force. And while the territories Napoleon had conquered were soon lost, the gold francs did just theopposite. They prevailed and established themselvesas the foundation of Europe’s first major currency union under the name “Latin Monetary Union”. The Union was originally formed in 1865 between France, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, and was an attempt to unify those countries’money into a uniform single currency. The French gold franc’s peerless uniformity and the attractiveness of the relatively large French economy provided the incentive and the foundation for a new “euro” currency. 

The founding members of the union adopted the franc and they agreed to freely interchange each other’s gold and silver coinage at parity, irrespective of whether they carried another design or motif. The ratio of the two precious metals was likewise standardised, with 4.5 grams of silver being equal to .290322 grams of gold, a ratio of 15.5 to 1. The standardisation facilitated and simplified trade among the member countries and was seen as an appealing concept, leading other European countries to join as well. Although the union came with numerous flaws, one of them being that individual governments over-issued paper notes above the stipulated fixed ratio that was set between paper notes and circulating precious metal coinage, they were all the consequence of poor human judgement rather than the failure of the uniform precious metal coinage itself. Nevertheless, the union expanded until the advent of World War I, and came to a formal end a decade later in 1927. 

The popularity of French10 franc gold coins lives on

Napoleon gold coins were widely distributed during the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and throughout the world. France controlled a large part of Europe in the early 1800s and subsequently rose to its colonial might in the early 20th century. To facilitate trade and investments,French gold francsbecame the preferred choice due to their stable uniformity and trustworthiness.  The10 franc gold coins were regularly issuedfrom the 1850s to 1914.The mintage was discontinued withthe advent of WWI, andalthough they are no longer produced, their popularity lives on, and they are in fact today one of the most traded classical gold coins in several European countries, including France.

The French 10 franc roosterand Marianne gold coin

When the10 franc rooster and Marianne coins were introduced in 1899, they continued in the footsteps of the monetary tradition of the French Republic where circulating gold francs, instead of depicting the effigy of a king or emperor, portrayed French symbols of victory, liberty, justice. Themost famous and pronounced French emblems which represent these principles are the rooster and Marianne. The rooster which is shown on the reverse side of the 10 franc gold coinis a French Christian symbol associated with victory. The rooster’s crowing to the sunrise is considered to be the daily victory of light over darkness and evil. The rooster had become an important symbol during the French Renaissance period, in which the Catholic Church played a decisive role in France’s state affairs. Today, the rooster is the unofficial symbol of France and is most often used as a national mascot at sports events.  

The effigy of Marianne which is portrayed on the obverse of the 10 franc gold coin is a combination of the allegorical personifications of liberty and justice. Painted for the first time in 1775 by a young French painter, Marianne gained popularity in the aftermath of the French Revolution when the newly elected assembly needed a fresh symbol to represent the First French Republic. The effigy of a young Marianne was chosen, representing a young but determined new Republic. Marianne is today France’s national symbol, portrayed on French euro coins, stamps, and official government logos. She is a staunch Republican emblem associated with the triumph of freedom against absolute rule.

The mintage of Frenchgold francs

As the French empire expanded, the need for gold and silver coinage increased. To satisfy the vast demand, gold francs were minted in several mints, and, over the years thatNapoleon gold coins were issued, more than twenty French mints, but also mints in countries under French rule, produced these desired gold coins. Every mint that struck gold francswas obligated to leave a unique identification mark on every coin so that the origin of the gold franc would be more easily traceable. The mark could either be a letter, a symbol, or a monogram. For instances, the letter “A” corresponded to the Paris mint, while the letter R, or the symbol of a crown, was the mark of the Rome mint. Although the production of gold francswas widespread throughout France and Europe, the large majority of these gold coins were minted by the Monnaie de Paris. Founded in 864 by the French King Charles the Bald, the Monnaie de Paris is the largest and oldest mint in France and likewise the oldest French institution. Even though the mint was a government institution and was responsible for the mintage of French circulating coinage, it shared this responsibility for almost a millennium with other French mints, hence the many different mint markings on the Napoleon gold coin. In 1878, the Paris mint was granted exclusive privilege to be the only French mint to produce circulating coinage and is today the country’s main mint and sole producer of the official French euro coinage.

Nominal value Dimensions Fineness Product weight in grams Gold weight in grams Gold weight in Troy ounces
10 Frank denomination 19.00 mm 900 3.22438 g 2.90195g 0.09

The French 10 franc rooster and Marianne gold coin was issued between 1899 and 1914. The inscribed text on the edge of the coin was changed from 1907 onwards due to the separation of the state and church. All other specifications stayed the same.


The obverseportrays the motif of Marianne, the French national symbol of liberty, carrying a wreath made of oak leaves. Surrounding Marianne is the text “REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE”.Below Marianne’s chin is the signature of the master engraver “J.C. CHAPLAIN”. 


The reversepictures a standing rooster in grass. Surrounding the rooster is the text “LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE”, which translates as “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Either side of the rooster’s shanks is the denomination of “10 Fcs” and below is the year of mintage. 


The edgebetween 1898 and 1907contains the text “DIEU PROTÉGE LA FRANCE”, which translates as “God protect France”, and between 1907 and 1914 the text “LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE”, which translates as “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.

The French 10 franc rooster and Marianne coin is a 21.6 carat fine gold coin which means it is composed of 21.6/24 = 90%gold. The fine gold content is 2.902grams, while the coin itself weighs 3.225grams.

When placing an order through our online shop, you can choose to have the products sent to your local post office or to collect them at our shop in Copenhagen.

By post: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, your order will be shipped as an insured value package. You will receive an SMS and an e-mail from Post Danmark with a tracking number to get updates on your delivery.

In person: Upon receipt of payment to Tavex’s account, we will contact you via phone and e-mail when your order is ready to be picked up in our shop (during opening hours). Valid photo ID will be required when collecting your items.

Deliveries outside of Denmark are to be agreed with Tavex and can be arranged by contacting us on telephone + 45 33 12 09 07 or via e-mail through .

Please refer to our “Terms and Conditions” for detailed delivery instructions.

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