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Banknote Book & CPG® PRICE GUIDE

About French Oceania

French Oceania, known as Polynésie Française (French Polynesia) since 1957, is an overseas collectivity of the French Republic composed of 118 geographically dispersed Polynesian islands and atolls stretching over an expanse of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) in the South Pacific Ocean. In 1842, France established a protectorate in the region, and the following year founded the capital of Papeete (“water from a basket”) on the island of Tahiti. On 30 December 1880, the Kingdom of Tahiti was annexed and became part of the Établissements Français d’Océanie (French Settlements in Oceania), which by 1903 had expanded to encompass the Austral Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Society Islands (including Tahiti), and Tuamotu Archipelago. Other numismatic catalogs include some of these notes under the country heading Tahiti, which is understandable, but arguably incorrect, because while the notes may bear the name of the capital Papeete and/or the name of the island Tahiti, they circulated throughout French Oceania/Polynesia.

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