EURO notes | EURO coins in France | Exchange rates

Changing from the Franc to the newEURO

On January 1, 1999 France started the process of giving up its old currency, the Franc.

History of the Franc
The Franc lasted for 641years. It was first minted to pay a ransom for French King Jean the second (the Good) when he was captured by the English in the disastrous Battle of Poitiers (1360), during the
Hundred Years' War. The gold coins that released him were called "franc-or" - "free gold".

Historically, each country has seen many changes in the coins people used to accept in the course of business. France also had: le louis, l'écu, la livre... also l'ange d'or, la couronne d'or, le noble d'or, l'angelot d'or... ("d'or"= of gold).

The "modern" Franc dates from 1795, when the new Republic (after the Revolution) made everyone use a single legal currency called le franc germinal.

Europe-wide changeover
France was one of the 12 countries in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which decided to drop their separate national currencies in favour of a new common European currency - the EURO.

As well as France, the historic changeover also included Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy (and the Vatican City), Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain - plus Greece which decided to join in from January 1, 2001.

Getting used to the change... Credit: Audio Visual Library European Commission

Euro bank notes and coins began circulating in France and the other countries on January 1, 2002.

All transactions in France must now be valued in Euros.

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 EURO coins in France

The face of each coin is the same throughout the EURO countries
- each country has its own design for the reverse. These French coins are accepted in ALL Euro countries - not just France, and you can pay in France with the other countries' EURO coins.
You may soon find EURO coins from other countries in your change -
these are the reverse sides of the 1 EURO coins issued in Germany and Spain.
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EURO notes

The notes are the same throughout the EURO countries
- you can spend them in any EURO country.

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Exchange rates

To convert between your currency and the EURO, or to find what a EURO price costs in your currency, click on one of these links:- Personal Currency Assistant

The Universal Currency Converter




A-Z © Copyright 2001 Invicta Media Last updated 27th December 2001