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My collection of coins from french overseas territories
Here is a part of my coin collection, with coins from former countries and territories under French ruling (former colonies, protectorates, territories under mandate, overseas departments, collectivities, regions etc).
Are also listed a few other countries, according to my whim (Burundi, because it has few coins, or Japan, because I spent some time there).
My french coins are not listed; nor those from Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Luxemburg, Andorra (countries whose coinage is very well known), Democratic Congo (which was under Belgian ruling), etc.
Those neither valued in Francs nor written in French are generally missing from these pages.
Gold coins and those with a ridiculously low mintage are not my cup of tea (too expensive). As coins should be used for paying things, I usually omit non-circular shaped coins.
My main goal when I created these pages eight years ago was to have a list available remotely of the coins I have and those I lack; my second goal is to have these coinages better known.
This list of countries and territories is independant from my opinion about their legality and their rulers.
This site is a work in progress, I hope to add a picture for each coin, when I'll be able to (as links, to keep pages light weighted).
Countries and Territories
Here a map of French territories.
Look at the French page for the update date of each country.
Nota: three letter codes after each country name and in links at the left and the bottom of each page come from ISO-3166 alpha-3 (easier to understand than the 2-letter codes) when they exist, or I made them (Dahomey, Indochina ...) or used the codes from numismondo.com and D. Claassen; I also give the ISO-4217 3-letter symbol for monetary units.
Not a part of Francophony but I have some of these coins.
A catalogue specific to the coins from this site:
Les monnaies des anciens territoires d'influence française (Coins from former territories under French influence), 2011, by André Milhorat, published by Numismatique & Change, 160 pages
I tried to give each coin its references according to some of the following fine catalogues, which you should acquire:
KM is almost exhaustive for some territories, but not always easy to use (unordered numbers ...); their commercial practices are questionable; they are under-staffed and more interested in the value of coins than in collecting and cataloguing them.
- Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-present, 2003, Krause Publications, by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler (KM 34 references for the 2007 edition, KM 31 references for the 2004 edition, or KM 24 for the 1999 edition for 1801-present)
- Monnaies Coloniales Françaises, 1670-1988, 1988, Victor Gadoury editions, par Victor Gadoury et Georges Cousinié (Gad 88 references)
- Monnaies et Jetons des Colonies Françaises, 2007, Victor Gadoury editions, par Jean Lecompte, 2nd edition (Lec 07 references, or Lec 00 references for the 2000 edition)
- Welt-Münzkatalog 20. & 21. Jahrhundert, 2011, Battenberg, von Günter Schön und Gerhard Schön, 39th edition (Schön references), 2460 pages
- Welt-Münzkatalog 20. Jahrhundert, 2005, Battenberg, von Günter Schön und Gerhard Schön, 33rd edition (Schön references)
Schön has a better presentation, it tries to introduce some logic, but it sometimes lacks a few coins;
Gadoury (Victor Gadoury and Georges Cousinié) has two editions, first edition in 1980, second edition, corrected, in 1988; it was extensively rewritten by Jean Lecompte in 2000 (Victor Gadoury editions), and even more in 2007 (Victor Gadoury too), he added a lot to the wonderful work done by Mr. Cousinié and Gadoury, after the books by such fine numismats as Way, Guilloteau and Mazard, but he left out coins from the countries after they achieved independance.
Thanks a lot to the French magazine named Numismatique & Change.
I had the idea of creating this site first to have a handy reference to my coins wherever I am, but also to complement these catalogues, which cannot always be as up-to-date as a web site.
Of course, everybody is free to use my lists for non-commercial usage.
No price, because I am not a merchant.
- For each country table, the first column tells whether I have this coin ("oui" or "plus"), or not ("non" or "moins").
- The second column gives the face value of the coin (with F for Franc).
- The next column is the year written on the coin.
- Next comes the mint mark, if any, or the mint shop (or temporarily "acheté" if I bought this coin and am waiting for it).
The French Paris Mint usually strikes coins with a "coin" alignment (the two sides are upside down, with a horizontal axis, like former French franc coins, ⇅), as opposed to the "medal" alignment (both sides in the same direction, with a vertical axis, like euro coins, ⇈); if a country or territory uses both alignments, the less frequent one is flagged in this column ("monnaie" is coin, "médaille" is medal).
- Then the grading, according to the French system: B (beau, VG, SGE, B), TB (très beau, F, S, MB), TTB (très très beau, VF, SS, BB), or Sup (superbe, EF, VZ, SPL).
- Then come the references in three catalogues; please tell me my errors.
- Mintage comes next, as reported by the catalogues, or from the reports from Mr. Milhorat in Numismatique et Change (M = millions, rounded). Note that mints usually publish the number of coins they struck in a given year, but not if these coins bear this very year ...
- Then the metal, or Essai for pattern coins.
- Last, some remarks.
These lists contain circulating coins as well as commemorative coins (NCLT, non circulating legal tender). Some think these are not true coins, but medals in disguise. However, they give the artists a better way to express themselves than most circulating coins (which have to be flatter). That's why they are included.
However, neither emergency coins nor tokens nor unusual shapes (rectangle etc).
I listed some references as "essai privé" (private pattern): they are either non official tokens, or official tokens without legal tender. For instance, some recent tokens in "africa" or "CFA" (not Francs), issued by Africamint: they may be "official", but they have no legal tender; as the purpose of a coin is to pay debts, there is no coin without legal tender. I nevertheless included some of them because they are listed by KM.
It could be possible to sort coins according to their status:
- circulating, legal tender, official (most coins)
- non circulating, legal tender, official (aka NCLT)
- non circulating, no legal tender, official (essais, pieforts, "africa")
- non circulating, no legal tender, not official (private patterns)
- circulating, no legal tender, not official (emergency tokens)
As I am no professional numismat, there may be false or forged coins in these pages. Indochine for instance is known for its numerous coins with a restruck date. Please forgive me for false or fantasy coins here included, and warn me!
If you have coins not listed hereafter, I'd be happy to add them, provided you send me a photography of the coin (100 to 200 dpi, real size, jpeg or bmp).
All mistakes and errors are mine, thank you for warning me!
Other useful books
- Monnaies et Jetons des Colonies Françaises, 2007, by Jean Lecompte, 2nd edition, Victor Gadoury publishing
- Monnaies Coloniales Françaises, 1670-1980, by Victor Gadoury and Georges Cousinié, 1st edition 1979
- Monnaies françaises * Colonies 1670-1942 / Métropole 1774-1942, by V.G. (Victor Guilloteau, Versailles 1937-1942)
- Histoire monétaire et numismatique des colonies françaises, by Jean Mazard, 1952
- Histoire monétaire des colonies françaises, by E. Zay, 1892, + supplement 1904 (I lack this supplement)
- Numismatique des colonies françaises, Alfred Page publishing, 1931
- L'histoire curieuse des monnaies coloniales, by Régis Antoine, 1986
- Les monnaies tunisiennes depuis 1859, by H. Schweikert, 1973
- Catalogue des Monnaies du Maroc, by Khalid Benziane, 2005
- Numismatique malgache, fascicules I to V, by J. and S. Chauvicourt, Tananarive 1968
- Coins of Haiti 1803-1970, by Carmen Arroyo, 1970
- The catalog of Japanese coins and banknotes, JNDA 1998
- Le monnayage et les monnaies fautées 1780-2009, by Jean-Claude Chort (Victor Gadoury publishing, Monaco, 2009)
- An Illustrated Catalogue of the French Billon Coinage in the Americas, by Robert A. Vlack (Colonial Coins Collectors Club, 2004)
- La souveraineté monétaire dans l'empire colonial français 1879-1939, by Hugo Carlier, Éditions Ithaka, 2021
As a reminder, some obsolete catalogues :
- Valeur des monnaies coloniales, by René Houyez (Garcen, 1977)
- Coins of the world, France and Colonies, by Wayte Raymond, 1956
- Coins of the world, 1750-1850, by William D. Craig, 1st edition
- A catalog of modern world coins, par R.S. Yeoman, 6th edition
- Argus des Monnaies du Monde, by Jean-Louis Thimonier (Thimonier publishing, 1987)
- Encyclopédie universelle des monnaies du XXe siècle1975, by Jean-François Cartier and Günter Schön (Image-Document, 1975)
- Annuaire international des monnaies, by J. Tixier, J.F. Cartier, R.I. Martin (Numismatique et Change, 1975)
- Monnaies modernes, France Monaco Andorre, par Eric Bombaud (Paul Dubuis publishing, 1992)
- Monnaies modernes, France Monaco Sarre Andorre Algérie Corse, by André Justin (published by C.P.R. in Roanne, 1975)
- Les Monnaies Françaises depuis 1848, by Barbara Ernst (Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1968)
Doubles, swapping, buying
I am looking for all coins noted "non" in the following pages.
If you have coins I lack, if you lack coins I have (I have a few extra coins), thank you for emailing me!
Here are some obsolete Excel charts of the coins I have to swap.
Thanks to all coin sellers, collectors and enthusiasts who allowed me to bring this collection together (except this Belgian merchant, of course, who refused to sell me a coin I had paid and stole money from me).
A big "thank you" to all those who emailed/will email me with information or error corrections !
Here is a page with some useful links, a work in progress, first version only in French.
Here is a changelog, updated almost regularly.
My email address: web at ultramarines.info
These pages were created using Notepad, uploaded on 2006/03/13, and updated whenever I can.
These web pages are intentionally simple, pure HTML without any elaborate script nor CSS (OK, they are ugly), and static, not using any database. In order to be compatible with most browsers, quickly displayed, and thoroughly indexed by search engines.
(C) Patrick Raffin