The Monnaie de Paris is launching a new range of coins celebrating the French involvement in the American War of Independence. The first issue marks the 240th anniversary of the arrival of the Marquis de La Fayette in Boston aboard the frigate Hermione. Confusingly, it’s also billed as part of the mints Major Landmarks in the History of Humanity range, so it remains to be seen where the series goes from here.
The design apes a period medallion, depicting a profile portrait of La Fayette in a style that coin collectors will be very familiar with. Wearing his uniform, it looks to be a fine effort. A coat of arms takes pride of place on the obverse, comprised of a small image of the Hermione, under a field of Fleur-de-Lys, representing the monarchy. Flags frame the shield on both sides, representing both the United States and France, although they lack the detail that would mark which is which.
Gold and silver offerings make up the four coin range, two of each. While they carry the same design, the bigger variant in each metal has an octagonal form. The silver weighs in at two-ounces, with the fine gold variant coming in at half that. The smaller form is a regular round shape, the silver one of the mints popular 22.2 gram efforts, and the gold a quarter-ounce.
The coins have appeared on the Monnaie de Paris website, but are not yet available to order. Hardly surprising given what’s been going on in the world. Prices range from €59 to €2400 and is each boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. A nice classic design for the traditionalist.