The French franc
is a former currency of France and Monaco
and, alongside the Spanish peseta
, a former de facto currency
. The first franc was a gold coin introduced in 1360, which showed King John II of France
on a richly decorated horse, earning it the name franc à cheval
. A later coin, showing Charles VII
on foot, under a canopy, was named the franc à pied
. The decimal franc was established by the French Revolutionary Convention in 1795 as a decimal unit, and became the official currency of France in 1799. France joined the euro
in 1999, and the franc was replaced by euro notes and coins in 2002.
This picture shows a 20-franc coin, dated 1803. The obverse shows an image of Napoleon.
See also: 1807 40-franc coinCoin: Monnaie de Paris, Republic of France; Image: National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History