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Commerce Industries coin


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I have a coin from France that dates back to 1921. In the front, it has "Commerce Industrie" written as well as the date. Center has a man sitting holding what looks like a medical insignia. (2 snakes intertwined around a pole)

 

 

Reverse side of coin has "Chamberes De Commerce De France" written around the outside edge, with "Bon Pour 1 Franc in the middle.

 

Does anyone have any info on this coin? Im not so concerened with its worth, just some insight into its history.

 

 

Thanks in advance....:lol:

 

 

 

 

KFC :ninja:

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It sounds like a normal 1 franc coin to me. I have a few of these, but none on Omnicoin. But Tiffibunny has one there that you can look at and compare to your own.

 

About the history of the design, well I do not know much about that. Hopefully someone else will.

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I believe the Chamber of Commerce pieces (50c-2F) are technically tokens, but as it was basically the coinage of the day, it has become accepted as part of the regular coinage series.

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I believe the Chamber of Commerce pieces (50c-2F) are technically tokens, but as it was basically the coinage of the day, it has become accepted as part of the regular coinage series.

In fact these were coins, but like an Belgian ones an Romanians it was written "Bon Pour" or "Bun Pentru" in Romanian coins because earlier coins were made from silver. The new ones, made from non precious alloys teoretically had the same value like the silver ones wich legally were still legal tender.

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The reason behind the issuance of these coins is fairly straight forward but requires a lengthy explanation. I'll try my best.

 

After World War I the french economy was in dire straits, as was that of Germany and most other european countries. There was a general lack of coinagewhich in no small part was due to France doggedly sticking with the silver standard in issuance of its 50c, 1 fr and 2 fr coins up to and including 1920 due to the prevailing mantra of the time `Le bosche payera!' (the germans will pay!). They were of course relying on Germany making good on demands by the allies for war reparations, which frankly were very unrealistic. Germany simply did not have the resources to make good on expectations. Hence no silver and coin shortages. Although some coinage was being produced it was not sufficient to satisfy the demand throughout the land.

 

This led on to the emergence of private tokens to facilitate trade locally.Then there was stamp money (monnaie de timbre) followed by numerous local Chambers of Commerce issuing their own token coinage (or `notgeld'). The latter were (with a few exceptions) usually small denomination aluminium coins for 5c, 10, 10c, 25c and 50c and only valid on a very local basis. It forms a whole collecting area in its own right. I've a few of these and will scan them sometime this week.

 

However, although linked to the history and raison d'etre of the `bon pour' Mercury coinage , the brass `bon pour' coinages (using an engraving by Domard as its obverse) were official. The National Chamber of Commerce agreed with the government to issue nationally acceptable 50c, 1fr, and 2 fr coins. However because of the political sentiment prevailing mentioned previously (le bosche payera) and the belief that France would return to the use of silver coinage, the brass coinage was always seen as only being an interim feature and that these would indeed be replaced /exchanged in due course with silver. Hence the use of `bon pour' (good for).

 

As we know, France never did return to silver coinage and as such they remained in circulation until they were eventually demonetised.

 

The brass `bon pour' 50c was issued between 1921 -1929, the 1 fr and 2 fr between (1920 -1927). All bear the same obverse design .

 

There are some variations which make for interesting collecting (including partial die fills with the engravers name and dates partially obliterated; open 5's closed 5's open 4's closed 4's, overstruck dates etc). It's a relatively cheap and rewarding way to start learning about die states and variations.

 

The later dates for the 1 fr and 2fr of this type are very much sought after and can cost an arm and a leg in higher grades.

 

Hope that provide you with some insight.

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Great info Ian. I have quite a few of these in the various denominations and had know a little about them being issued by the Chamber of Commerce with gov't sanction. But I did not have any idea about most of the history.

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Center has a man sitting holding what looks like a medical insignia. (2 snakes intertwined around a pole)

Ian already posted a great explanation; let me just add that Mercury was the Roman god of trade and commerce, and that winged staff with the two snakes is one of his common attributes, called a "caduceus". His left arm leans on a rudder, and at the bottom you see a horn of plenty.

 

Christian (boche & kraut :ninja: )

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Christian (boche & kraut :ninja: )

 

 

France and Germany now have one of the strongest political and military alliances in Europe, what a positive change from the past:)

 

Actually similar to what was going on in Germany with notgeld issues during the WWI era, many French localities issued paper and metallic tokens. I have some from Lille:

 

lille.jpg

 

Curiously I purchased these in Munich, Germany!

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Here's a few examples of French `emergency' money or `monnaie de necessite' as it was called.

 

The first two were issued during world war I. The first is a 10c from Marseilles dated 1916, the second a 10c from Besancon dated 1917.

 

916193.jpg

916194.jpg

 

The next five were all issued post war and in order of appearance are Nice 10c 1920, Rouen 25c 1920, Eure et Loire 25c 1922, La Rochelle 25c 1922, and an Evreux 1 fr 1922.

 

916195.jpg

916199.jpg

916196.jpg

916197.jpg

916200.jpg

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Ian already posted a great explanation; let me just add that Mercury was the Roman god of trade and commerce, and that winged staff with the two snakes is one of his common attributes, called a "caduceus". His left arm leans on a rudder, and at the bottom you see a horn of plenty.

 

Christian (boche & kraut :ninja: )

 

like this caduceus...

900400.jpg

 

I'm way late on this thread, but I want to add that some have suggested that the use of the caduceus as a medical symbol was through confusion with the staff of Aesculapius- more easily associated with medicine than Hermes...interesting stuff :lol:

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