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FR: Silver and Gold at Face Value


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Later this year the Monnaie de Paris will issue the first French "precious metal" euro coins that can be had at face value. The theme of all coins is the Semeuse (Sower), but each denomination will show her in a different position or at a different angle. This year there will be three issues:


* the €5 silver coin (mintage 2 million, available as from 1 September),

* the €15 silver piece (mintage 500,000, as from 15 Sept),

* the €100 gold coin (total mintage 50,000, as from 24 November).


The coins can be had at 1,000 post offices throughout the country (only 15,000 of the gold coins though). Next year there will be €10 and a €25 silver pieces and a €250 gold coin. And in 2010 the series will be completed by a €50 silver piece and a €500 gold coin, thus a total of eight denominations. They all are collector coins, ie. regional issues which are legal tender in the issuing member state only. But silver and gold coins that you can get without having to pay more than face, that is neat nevertheless.


Here is the Semeuse on this year's €15 coin ...



... and this is the other side which will basically be the same for all issues:



The media release, with some more images, is here:


This year's coins are also depicted in the Monnaie de Paris catalog (see page 5):




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But what happens if the silver and gold prices just skyrocket? :ninja:;) ;)

Should not be a problem this year. ;) Let's see ...

- the €5 coin is Ag 500 (10 g, 27 mm), thus roughly €3 worth of silver in it

- the €15 coin is Ag 900 (15 g, 31 mm), so roughly €10 in silver

- the €100 coin is Au 999 (3.1 g, 15 mm), so gold would have to double its price.

In the following two years ... well, they could "adjust" the sizes or face values for example. I'm sure they will have ways of still making money with these issues, hehe.


@Scottishmoney: As for € collector coins, Austria and Spain also issue some of their silver coins at face. However, gold at face seems to be a novelty among euro coins ...



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Hehe, I'm a coin collector but certainly not a gold bug. Like pretty much any commodity (or other natural resource maybe), a metal used for coins can get more or less expensive. So yes, when silver becomes "too pricy", ie. the intrinsic value of a piece exceeds its face value, the issuing government will think about alternatives. The same applies, however, when the copper or zinc price goes up.


With coins issued primarily or solely for collectors, the mints or rather governments usually have the option to just raise the price of the "package". Whether the collector pays $34 or $36 for a $1 coin does not matter that much. But of course you cannot do that with circulation coins or with silver/gold pieces that you advertise as being available at face. Fortunately for the Monnaie de Paris, there is still some room for profits in the prices. After all, these pseudo-circulation coins are not bullion pieces.


Interesting, by the way, that in this case we know the name of the designer, Joaquin Jimenez, from Angers, FR. (The MdP does in general not publish them, except for circulation coins.) Jimenez has designed many medals but also coins for the French and Swiss mints ...



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