Women of France is the spiritual successor to the classic Monnaie de Paris series, From Clovis to Republic. A favourite here that you’ve no doubt heard us big up on numerous occasions, Clovis introduced the ‘Historical Strike’. This is basically a standard strike, but with the edge of it unbound so that the metal can flow out from under the die unevenly. It’s relatively subtle, but looks great.
Launched in 2016, the Paris-based mint debuted three coins that year and did the same in 2017 and 2018. So far we’ve seen Clotilde, Mathilde, Jeanne d’Arc, Catherine de Medici, Madame de Pompadour, Olympe de Gouges, Desiree Clary, Josephine de Beauharnais, and George Sand. Strangely, 2019 will see this Marie Curie coin only, with 2020 bringing Sister Emmanuelle and Simone Veil. As the coins have worked their way through history in rough chronological order, and Simone Veil only died in 2017, we’d feel safe saying that 2020 will be the series end.
Fortunately, the Marie Curie coin is another fine release. The portrait side has a high quality image of the ground-breaking scientist at its centre, and the obverse features a dual effigy of Marie and her scientist husband and collaborator, Pierre. The series signature visual element has always been the lightly struck background pattern/image and that’s also the case here. The reverse face has a background of hand-written equations, while the obverse has a representation of the molecular structure of the element she discovered, Polonium.
We found the earlier Clovis coins to be more attractive than the later ones because the subjects, mainly from the Medieval period, were just more interesting than the later 20th century politicians. Woman of France has managed a more varied selection of figures to showcase and later coins have had their own great appeal. The usual two formats are present. The more popular of the two is a €55.00, 0.900 silver coin of 22.2 grams in weight and with a mintage of 2,000 (down from the previous 5,000). The €485.00 gold tips the scales at 7.78 grams (¼ oz) with a mintage half last years 1,000 pieces – so just 500. In addition, Marie Curie has been chosen for the one-ounce gold treatment and just 250 of these €2100.00 coins will be offered for sale. All formats come boxed with a c.o.a. and are available now. A really beautiful series that come alive in the hand.