The last of the three 2016 coins in the new Monnaie de Paris sequel series to its superb From Clovis to Republic range is here now. While the first two subjects, Queen Clotilde and William the Conquerer’s wife, Mathilde, may not be widely known, this third coin subject certainly is. Joan of Arc is a figure that has transcended borders and time to become a symbol. Like many symbols, the basis of them is often exaggerated beyond reality and not wholly based in historical truth, but there’s no denying the impact she had on her times.

As we’ve stated previously. the coins follow the Clovis format, a 22 g 0.900 silver coin, and a ¼ oz 0.920 gold coin. There was a single 1 oz 0.999 gold version released only once for the Clovis series in five years, and with the release of a Mathilde coin in the format, but not the Clotilde, we assumed that this would be the case again. We were wrong, as Joan of Arc has also made the transition to the larger gold format, fortunately. There are no differences in design between the three formats. The usual portrait of the subject adorns the reverse face, in this case Joan of Arc wearing an armour helmet of the period. Just her name and dates are inscribed in a well chosen font around the edge of the coin. A fine, repeating fleur-de-leys pattern is struck into the background on the reverse face of the coin, a floral pattern on the other.

The obverse isn’t lumbered with the usual Queens effigy that sits on Commonwealth coins, as being denominated in Euros, it has unique artwork on this side also. In this case it’s a beautiful representation in the medieval style of Joan of Arc mounted on a horse, and carrying the banner she is renowned for. Above is the inscription “ORLEANS 1428, the date of her most famous battle, along with the usual date, issuer, and denomination. The irregular edge and rimless design that mimic earlier hand-struck coins, called ‘History’ by the Monnaie de Paris, still looks as cool as ever. Packaged in the revised Monnaie de Paris box inside a coloured shipper with an enclosed, serialised Certificate of Authenticity, we’ve yet to hear if a collectors box for the series like the one produced for Clovis will be offered.

Like the previous two coins, this one is quite beautifully designed, possibly the best of the three to be released to date and at least the equal of anything in the previous Clovis range. It’s no exaggeration to say this is our favourite series of 2016 to date, well priced and produced. Available to order now, the silver is €55.00, and the two gold coins €505.00 and €2,000.00 EURO respectively.

COIN IMAGES

JOAN OF ARC

Known in France as Jeanne d’Arc, the “The Maid of Orléans” was born around 6 January 1412. Born in the village of Domrémy in north-east France to a peasant family, at aged 16 she petitioned to meet uncrowned Charles VII at the Royal Court. Here she persuaded Charles, through claims of visions from God, to let her accompany the army being sent to relieve Orléans. Desperate after continual failure in his war against the English and their Burgundian allies, Charles had little to lose by indulging Joan.

Arriving at the besieged Orléans on 29 April 1429, numerous assaults on the fortifications spurred on by Joan carrying a banner, eventually led to the defeat of the English on 8 May. Believing her advice to be divinely inspired, noblemen on the French side credited her with bringing victory. A succession of other wins eventually led to the city of Reims opening its gates to Charles. Reims was by tradition the place that French Kings were crowned and he wasted little time in holding the coronation on the following day, 17 July.

An unsuccessful assault on Paris led to a brief truce which failed soon after. In early May 1430 Joan traveled to Compiègne to help defend the city against a potential siege. On 23 May, with a force that attempted to attack the Burgundian camp north of the town, she was dismounted and captured while with the rearguard during the retreat from the battle. Given to the English, she was tried by the Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on various charges including heresy. Eventually declared guiltly, she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, just 19 years old.

In 1456,  an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte declared her a national symbol of France. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920, going on to be a patron saint of France.

THE QUARTER-OUNCE GOLD

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Joan of Arc was born in Domrémy in the Lorraine region of France around 1412. She claimed, as an adolescent, to have been instructed by saints to free France from English occupation. She made it her mission to get to the Dauphin’s side and inform him of her divine calling. An emblematic figure of the Hundred Years’ War and true military leader, she was finally captured in 1431 by the Burgundians, who were allied to the English. Following a trial, she was sentenced to be burnt at the stake.

The Women of France series pays tribute to the history of France and women who have contributed. Through their portraits and memorable scenes of their lives, engravers of the Monnaie de Paris have transcribed the personalities of our famous women. All denominations are struck in a particular quality called “History”. It gives an antique look to the currencies and makes them perfectly imperfect, making each copy a unique specimen! The series begins with three famous women from the medieval period: the Queen Clotilde, Queen Mathilde and Jeanne d’Arc Through their portrait and the significant event of their live, Monnaie de Paris’ engravers have transcribed those famous women’s personality. Some textures treated as all-over textiles patterns appear in the background of the coins.

THE ONE-OUNCE GOLD

ADVERTISEMENTS

icon
icon
icon
icon
icon

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
€10 EURO 0.900 SILVER 22.2 g 37.0 mm PROOF 5,000 YES / YES
€50 EURO 0.920 GOLD 8.45 g 22.0 mm PROOF 1,000 YES / YES
€200 EURO 0.999 GOLD 31.104 g 37.0 mm PROOF 500 YES / YES

MINT LINK

MONNAIE DE PARIS