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10 francs FRANCE (1983) Balloon Conquest of the Skies

10 francs 1983 Balloon Conquest of the Skies - coins of France Coin edge
10 francs 1983 Balloon Conquest of the Skies - obverse to reverse alignment
diameter: weight: thickness: alloy:
26.0 mm 10.0 g 2.6 mm Cu92Ni6Al2
below coin centre in two lines face value: 10 / FRANCS; above a balloon gondola with brothers Montgolfier holding Colours; along the left edge: RÉPUBLIQUE, along the right: FRANÇAISE (French Republic); along the bottom edge year of issue 1983
in the coin centre balloon "Réveillon" takes off among cheering crowd; along the top edge: CONQVÊTE DE L'ESPACE (conquest of the skies), along the bottom edge date 1783
plain with concave inscription: LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ (motto of France - liberty, equality, fraternity) divided by olive branch, laurel branch and cereal ear
issue date:
???  no data
withdrawal date:
1 VII 1993
Daniel Ponce (signature D.PONCE before date 1783 along the bottom edge of the obverse)
Paris Mint mark La Monnaie de Paris (The Paris Mint), Pessac (mint mark before year of issue 1983 in the obverse, after year of issue privy mark of mint's director Émile Rousseau - dolphin)
1983 2 984 411 + 16 561 in annual boxed sets
mint marks:
Privy marks of the general engravers of the Mint of Paris, which can be found on French coins produced after 1944:
Lucien Bazor 1931-1958 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint wing
Raymond Joly 1958-1974 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint owl
Emile Rousseau 1974-1994 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint dolphin
Pierre Rodier 1994-2000 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint bee
Gérard Buquoy 2001-2002 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint horseshoe
Serge Levet 2003 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint heart
Hubert Larivière 2004-2010 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint horn
Yves Sampo from 2011 privy mark of the engraver of the Paris Mint rosette
interesting facts:
The commemorative coin of 10 francs from 1983 commemorates the 200th anniversary of balloons flights. 1783 was a year of huge technological leap in the construction of balloons. The first balloon constructed by French brothers Mongolfier was presented in June 1783 and took off to the height of more than a kilometre. On October 15 in Paris the first manned flight took place, when the tethered Mongolfier balloon flew to a height of 26 meters. On November 21, 1783 the balloon "Réveillon" constructed by Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes held the first ever free journey. The flight lasted for 25 minutes and the balloon travelled 8 km.

Balloon Réveillon
photo licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Paris Mint (La Monnaie de Paris) dating back to the 6th century is the oldest French institution, and some would say - oldest institution in the world. The mint office is located in the center of Paris in a complex called Hotel des Monnaies, which was opened on December 20, 1775. A cornucopia is the symbol placed on any coin minted by the Paris Mint from January 1, 1880. The second character visible on coins was a symbol of the general engraver (Graveur general). The tradition of this job dates back to 1547 when Henry II of Valois appointed a general engraver as the only person authorized to create the king's portrait. Only the design prepared by the general engraver could have been copied to the coins stamps in national mints. Starting from 2001, the heads of engravers workshop in the Paris Mint do not hold this traditional title anymore, but their privy marks still appear on French coins next to the mint mark.

The name of the French mint - La Monnaie de Paris - suggests that the plant producing coins is located in the French capital. This is however, only the company name and factories were placed in various French cities. At the moment, the only place producing coins of France (and of some other countries) is Pessac near Bordeaux.
last update: 20 XI 2013

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