Monday, February 7, 2011
Weekend Treasure! French Silver, Austrian Bronze
This last Sunday, Sweet Pea and I hit the local Goodwill for the end of the week sale.............. and came home with a little pirate treasure!
As Sweet Pea was in line to check out, I noticed that one of the clerks was pricing necklaces out of a pile of jewelry on the counter. On top of the pile, I immediately noticed a beautiful, silver, 5 franc French coin and a couple of bronze Austrian 1 schillng coins, on a silver necklace. It had not been priced yet. I stood casually by while the clerk carefully scrutinized the necklace and then priced it at less than $2 !!!!! The coins have been drilled and were attached with silver soldered rings. The necklace is made of Mexican silver. I've removed the coins and we'll recycle the necklace.
Did I mention that the French coin is a SILVER issue coin !!!!!! (made from .835 coin silver, .3221 oz, . of silver to be exact).
Here's the rundown on the French 5 franc coin:
The coin was designed by the famous French Art Nouveau artist Oscar Roty. You can see his "signature" on the face of the coin under the "lady". The design for this coin originally dates back to the 1897 - 1919 time period. In 1960, the design was brought back and from 1960 - 1970, the 5 franc coin was minted in silver (after that they went to nickle-brass). The woman on the face is the Sower, la Semuse. This design inspired the early US silver "Walking Liberty" coins as well as the WW1 Victory medals for Great Brittan and the US. The coin has the raised words "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternate" around the outside coin edge. A VERY beautiful coin!
The Austrian schillings were minted from 1959 - 2001. Very beautiful coins as well, with the edelweiss on the back.
All of these cons were made obsolete when Austria and France adopted the Euro around 2000......... and I guess the age of coin-art has died with it.