The Monnaie de Paris has released the next design in its Sower Historic Coins series, which recalls France’s numismatic heritage by highlighting some of the most significant coins in the nation’s history. The 2016 issues feature the teston, a sixteenth century issue that circulated during the reign of Francis 1. This year’s design is available on three gold Proof coins — with 10-euro, 50-euro, and 100-euro denominations — as well as on a 10-euro silver Proof issue.
The reverse design features likenesses of both the obverse and reverse of the original teston, along with an inscription indicating the denomination. The background includes images that represent the French Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” and Chambord Castle.
The obverse features an updated rendition of Oscar Roty’s “The Sower,” which first appeared on French coinage in 1897. Twelve stars placed along the rim represent the twelve stars on the flag of the European Union, while horizontal and vertical lines on either side of the central motif represent the blue and red sections of the heraldic French flag. Inscribed on this side of the coins are 2016 and RF for “République Française.”
The 10-euro gold coin contains 1/10 oz. of 99.9% gold, costs €252, and has a mintage limited to 5,000 pieces; the 50-euro issue is composed of 1/4 oz. of 92% gold, costs €480, and has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces; while the 100-euro piece is composed of 1/2 oz. of 92% gold, costs €960, and has a mintage limit of 500 coins.
The silver Proof issue is composed of 22.2 grams of 90% silver and has a mintage limited to 5,000 coins. It can be purchased for €55.
France’s Sower Series launched in 2014 with the 864 Denier issues and will conclude in 2020 with the release of coins highlighting the New Franc. Next year’s release will feature the Louis d’or from the 17th century.
For more information on this year’s Sower “Teston” coins, please visit the Web site of the Monnaie de Paris.