France: Historic Anniversary for the Women of France is Celebrated with Silver Coins Marking 80 Years of the Right to Vote

The Monnaie de Paris have launched their latest silver BU quality silver coins which marks an important anniversary in terms of gender equality.

by Michael Alexander | Published on March 8, 2024

Universal suffrage and the right for all citizens to cast a vote and shape the future of the country is celebrated if France as it reaches 80 years. These rights were achieved in France with the advance of a woman's right to vote though it has been a saga marked by decades of struggle. Initiated after the Second World War, the formal recognition of gender equality in the of what is remembered as an achievement of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, in power from 1944 to 1946. The Ordinance of the 9th August 1944 was a constitutional law enacted during the Liberation of France which would re-establish republican rule of law in mainland France as the Second World War ended in Europe in May 1945. The ordinance paved the way for French women to be granted the right to vote, which they did for the first time in municipal elections in 1945, then in legislative elections in 1948. Further, the amendment to the French constitution in 2000 known as Article 6 proclaims equal treatment by the law, both in protection and punishment, as well as equal access to public offices. As such, establishing parity consolidated this progress, leading to the active participation of women in French political life today. This development reflects the result of a determined fight for equality and justice.

The coins are designed by senior engraver of the Monnaie de Paris, Joaquin Jimenez who features on the obverse, a profile image of a woman facing left, symbolising a look back at how far women have come in their fight for gender equality within the law of the land. She is surrounded by envelopes and a ballot box which is placed to the lower right and is depicted to commemorate the right to vote. On each envelope is a stylised letter or word spelling out the inscription 80 ANS DU DROITE DE VOTES DES FEMMES (80 years of votes for women) The year commemorative years 1944 – 2024 is placed along the lower left rim and the initials RF are seen on the ballot box representing the issuing country. The reverse of both the €10 and €100 coins shows the face value surrounded by one oak branch and one laurel branch that is surrounded with the text REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE. Centred is the Euro € symbol and denomination of 10 or 100.  The entire design is framed by an assembly of hexagonal lines and shapes.

Denomination  Metal  Weight  Diameter  Quality  Total Mintage
10 Euro  .333 Silver  13 g.  31 mm.  BU10,000
100 Euro  .900 Silver  45 g. 47 mm.  BU5,000

Available from the 8th March, The BU €10 coins are presented in a blister-pak folder which includes colourful images and background text about the coin’s topic and theme. The €100 silver BU coin is encapsulated and presented in a folder case with a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please visit the webshop of the Monnaie de Paris.

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Author: Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander image Michael’s background in both numismatics and banknotes spans more than three decades and whose activities have varied from being a dedicated world coin collector to coin & medal design, marketing, theme concept and production. His additional interests include banknote research and in 1997, he founded the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre to further these interests and activities. The company continues to offer monthly currency bulletins to both online and printed publications which includes information about the latest banknote news and releases from Central Banks and Monetary Authorities around the world. Michael has been a contributor to COIN NEWS magazine based in the UK since 1998 where many of his in-depth interviews, articles and bulletins have been published.

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