Check your pockets for French franc bank notes

 

 
TIME UP!

The french franc is no more.

Introduced 650 years ago in 1360 by King John II, the last note was exchanged into euros on 17th February, to be recycled, worthless now unless they are in mint condition or have some specialist collector value.

The french government has been very surprised at the amount of francs which have not been handed in for exchange and estimate that the equivalent of  526 million euros are still out there in francs. This unclaimed income will, not surprising, go into the government coffers.

The franc  officially ceased to exist between 1641 and 1795, when it was replaced with the ecu and the Louis d’Or by Louis XIII, although it was still referred to as the franc. It was reintroduced after the French Revolution, going decimal in 1795.

The euro replaced the franc in 2002. Many older French people still talk in francs!

 

 

Did you know that a few French franc bank notes can still be exchanged for Euros in a ‘Banque de France’?

French franc Pierre and Marie CurieThey each have a ‘date limite’ – the last date that you can hand them in in exchange for euros – and although many of the dates have been and gone, the final date seems to be Feb 2012 so worth checking those old bags and pockets now before you visit the next vide grenier. For example, maybe you still have a  500 franc ‘Pierre et Marie Curie’  – a fortune in the days of the franc but a mere 70 euros or so now. Never mind – if you have any lying around, now is the time to take them to the bank! It’s still better than a poke in the eye with a pointed stick non? 

 

Other dates for handing in other notes ……along with their names and their approximate value in euros depending on exchange rate of course.

 

20 francs

1980 Debussy
Exchange by 17th February 2012
worth approx 3,05€

50 francs

1993 St Exupéry
Exchange by 17 February 2012
worth approx 7,62

100 francs

1978 Delacroix
Exchange by 31 January 2009 – TOO LATE!
worth approx 15,24

100 francs

1997 Cézanne
Exchange by 17 February 2012
worth approx 15,24

200 francs

1981 Montesquieu
Exchange by 31 March 2008 – TOO LATE!
worth approx 30,49

200 francs

1995 Eiffel
Exchange by 17 February 2012
worth approx 30,49

500 francs

1968 Pascal
Exchange by 28 February 2007 – TOO LATE!
worth approx 76,22

500 francs

1993 Pierre et Marie Curie
Exchange by 17th February 2012
worth approx 76,22

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918) French composer and critic. Debussy’s music is often associated with the contemporary impressionist movement in painting, as his approach shares some characteristics of this style.

Antoine de St Exupéry (1900 – 1944) French writer and aviator, he is  best remembered for his book, the Little Prince  (Le Petit Prince) and for his books about aviation adventures.

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) French Romantic artist regarded  as the leader of the French Romantic school. 

Paul Cézanne  (1839 – 1906)  French artist and Post Impressionist painter, believed to have  formed the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century Cubism. 

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel  (1832 – 1923)  French engineer,  architect,  entrepreneur and  specialist in metallic structures. Famousfor designing the world-famous Eiffel Tower in 1887–1889.

Blaise Pascal (1623 – 1662) French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher who made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and the concepts of pressure and vacuum.

Pierre and Marie Curie are best known for their pioneering work in the study of radioactivity, which led to their discovery in 1898 of the elements radium and polonium.

Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755) French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Enlightenment.

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