France’s Gold Joan of Arc Wins 2016 dated COTY “Most Historically Significant Coin”
In a somewhat surprising selection, the Krause Coin of the Year judges selected France’s Joan of Arc coin as the “Most Historically Significant Coin.” The 200 Euro gold coin is the third issue in the multi-year Women of France series, which pays tribute to three important women of France each year.
In 2016, the Women of France series honored women from medieval France — Queen Clotilde, Queen Mathilde and Joan of Arc. As described by the Monnaie de Paris:
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.
Designed by Monnaie de Paris’ engravers without attribution, the obverse of Joan of Arc 200 Euro coin depicts a left-facing profile of the young heroine in her battle helmet. Her name is inscribed in its original French, JEANNE D’ ARC, across the top of the coin. The bottom center features her birth and death years, 1412-1431. The background of the coin features a textured fleurs-dis-lis pattern.
The coin is struck without a collar which creates the look of a hammered coin. The only attribution marks are the cornucopia to the left of the word “Euro” on the reverse and the pentagon mark for Mint Director Yves Sampo to the right of the word, “Euro.”
The reverse shows Joan of Arc wearing armor and mounted on her horse during the siege of Orleans in 1428. She and her horse, its front left leg raised in the air, face left and are surrounded by numerous inscriptions. These include ORLÉANS 1428 at the top center and the letters RF (the initials for Republique Francaise) on the right center. At the bottom center of the coin, the coin’s denomination 200 EURO is inscribed in two horizontal lines of text. The left of the coin bears its date, 2016. The entire reverse is textured with a floral pattern.
The Joan of Arc coin design is available in three denominations which allows collectors to obtain this coin more readily and more affordably than the 200 Euro, 37mm one-ounce gold with a low mintage of only 50 coins. The 10 Euro silver, 37mm version has a mintage of 5,000. The 50 Euro, 22mm, ¼ ounce Gold version has a mintage of 1,000 coins.
This coin, in the denomination awarded, is sure to be one of the rarities in the COTY series.