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Bell metal

44 collectible items
Bell metal

Requisitioned from the clergy to revive the economy!

At the end of the French Revolution, there was a notable lack of hard cash in France, particularly due to the shortage of copper and precious metals, which, not unlike the aristocracy, had conveniently decided to spend some time abroad.

The Coinage Committee and the Finance Committee came up with an original solution. Whereas the value of the assignats had been based on the clergy’s land assets, this time it was the church bells which got roped in.

And thus appeared the so-called “bell metal” coins.

Coins of 3, 6, and 12 deniers were minted along with 1 and 2 sol coins featuring scales (“aux balances”). Small change began circulating again – you could almost say that France was saved by the bell (sorry for that one!).

France Louis XVI

12 Deniers, 1791, Paris, Métal de cloche, VF(30-35)

In 1792, no fewer than 100,000 of the metallic messengers were melted down and converted into coins.

Here is a selection of French coins from the period of the French Revolution, made of bell metal, for you to collect today without delay.

View the selection


Sources:

Image at the top: “The golden bell” by the AI program Midjourney (2024) (All rights reserved)

France Louis XVI

2 sols François, 1792 / AN 4, Paris, Métal de cloche

France Louis XVI

2 sols Français, 1793 / AN 5, Strasbourg, Métal de cloche

France 2 sols aux balances non daté

An 2, Pau, Métal de cloche, F(12-15)

France Louis XVI

12 Deniers, 1792 / AN 4, Saumur, Métal de cloche, VF(30-35)

France Louis XVI

12 Deniers, 1791 / AN 3, Paris, Métal de cloche, VF(30-35)

France Louis XVI

6 Deniers, 1792 / AN 4, Limoges, F(12-15), Métal de cloche

France Louis XVI

12 deniers françois, Saumur, Métal de cloche, VF(20-25)

France Louis XVI

2 sols François, Paris, Métal de cloche, F(12-15)

France Louis XVI

2 sols François, 1792, Arras, Métal de cloche, VF(20-25)

France Louis XVI

2 sols François, 1791 / AN 3, Paris, Métal de cloche

France Louis XVI

2 sols François, 1791/AN 3, Lille, EF(40-45), Métal de cloche

France 2 sols à la Balance

1793 / AN II, Arras, VF(20-25), Métal de cloche

Selection published on 30/03/2024