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BELGIUM (till 2002) - Belgian franc/frank [BEF]

1 franc/frank = 100 centimes

In 1832, two years after announcing independence, Belgians introduced a national currency caller Belgian franc [BEF] equal to French franc [FRG]. On December 20, 1848 the same ratio applied newly created Luxembourgish franc [LUF], and two years later Swiss franc [CHF]. After 1862, when united Italy also joined the system with their lira [ITL], it was decided to unify all these currencies into one. On December 23, 1865 the Latin Monetary Union was established, which combined national currencies of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Italy pegged to 4.5 g of silver or 290 mg of gold. In countries - signatories it was possible to pay with any other's national currency, what simplified the trade significantly. The success of the Latin Monetary Union encouraged more countries to join it directly (Spain, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Serbia and San Marino), or at least peg national currencies in the same gold ratio staying outside the union. Only the World War I demolished the monetary union. Belgian franc, as well as most of other currencies lost its value during the war. In 1935 its value was set to only 150 mg of gold. Earlier, in 1921 Belgians entered a monetary union again with Luxembourgish franc. During the World War II franc was pegged to German mark [DER] in ratio 10 BEF for 1 DER, corrected later to 12.5 BEF for 1 DER. After regaining independence in 1944 franc was pegged to American dollar [USD] in ratio 43.77 BEF for 1 USD. This number was updated in September 1949 to 50 BEF for 1 USD. The monetary union of Belgian franc and Luxembourgish franc survived until the introduction of euro on January 1, 1999, when both of the currencies were replaced with the European one. Franc was circulating until February 28, 2002.

Clear bilingualism of Belgium is reflected also in the numismatics. Most of the circulation coin types have their French and Dutch versions. Among the post-war issues of Belgian franc [BEF] the only exception is the commemorative 50 francs from 1960 designed with legends in Latin.

Please, note that at the moment we are presenting only these types of Belgian franc [BEF] coins, which were being struck after 1944.

last update: 9 XI 2015

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