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The Coin of the Month

October 2010 - Serie, 10 Francs (1969-1979) - Belgium

The Belgian franc was used between 1832-2001 in Belgium, just over 170 years of history, and six different reigns.
The longest reign of a king in Belgium, was Baudouin I, fifth king of Belgium.
He became king when he was almost 21, following the abdication of his father, King Leopold III.
Baudouin I's reign began in 1951, and ended with his death in 1993.

During his reign, the national currency was the Belgian franc (100 centimes = 1 franc).
There were more than 19 different type of coins minted during this period, and one of them has retained my attention, 10 Francs - pure nickel, 1969-1979.
This coin was struck for eleven consecutive years, and in both national languages (French and Dutch).

It is pure nickel, 27mm diameter, plain edge, weight 8gr.
It was demonetized after his last mintage in 1979.
It is estimated that 14.7% is left in the drawers, or collections ...
During the first five years of its introduction, nearly 143.5 million coins were minted, or two thirds of the total (total = 207 735 000 coins).
That is why the years of 1974 to 1979 are a little harder to find.
The most current year, 1969, was struck to 43,735,000 coins (approximately 20% of total), and the rarest year, 1978, was struck just 5 million coins (less than 2.5% of total).

Now for the piece, on the obverse you can see an engraving of the portrait of Baudouin I of Belgium, fifth king of the Belgians, with the signature (Harry) Elstrom.
The same engraving is present on several coins, such as one franc (1989-1993), the 20 Francs (1980-1993) and 250 Francs (1976).


On the reserve, you can see the coat of arms of Belgium, sublimely illustrated.
Here is a short description:
The shield is emblazoned: Sable, a lion rampant or, armed and languorous gules. It is surmounted by a helmet with raised visor, with mantling or and sable and the royal crown in the top. Behind the shield are placed a hand of justice and a scepter with a lion. The grand collar of the Order of Leopold surrounds the shield. Two lions guardant proper support the shield as well as a lance with the national colors black, yellow and red (Belgian flag). Under the compartment is placed the slogan L'union fait la force in French or Eendracht maakt macht in Dutch. The riband of the motto is red, with black stripes on either side. The lettering is golden. The whole is placed on a red mantle with ermine lining and golden fringes and tassels, with the royal crown. Above the mantle rise banners with the arms of the nine provinces that constituted Belgium in 1837. They are (from left to right) Antwerp, West Flanders, East Flanders, Liège, Brabant, Hainaut, Limburg, Luxembourg and Namur.


This coin was common in Luxembourg, during the same period.
And the 10 Francs from Luxembourg was also used in Belgium. (same specifications)


This is personally one of my favorite coins in the Belgian numismatics, the 10 Francs – nickel pure.
Simple and complex at the same time.


Autor: Pierre Bertrand
October / 2010



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