George Washington’s Right-Hand Man
The year was 1777. The newly formed United States of America had claimed their independence from Great Britain, but King George wasn’t going to give up the New World without a fight. The Revolutionary War had begun, and a certain Frenchman wanted to help…
Now, more than 240 years later, that hero of the American Revolution is the subject of the first legal-tender French octagonal coins in history!
Honoring America’s Revolutionary Heroes
In the earliest years of our nation, the United States did not have its own coinage. Instead, European gold and silver remained legal tender throughout the former colonies. So when it came time to create medals honoring the heroes of the Revolution, our allies in France answered the call. What more could we expect from the nation that gifted us the Statue of Liberty?
Struck with an octagonal shape, these medals honored the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and the subject of France’s first-ever octagonal legal-tender coin, the Marquis de Lafayette.
Who Was Lafayette?
Marie-Joseph Laul Yves Roch Gilbert du Moteir, Marquis de Lafayette (known to Americans simply as “Lafayette”), sailed to the United States in 1777 to join the Continental Army. He served as a Major General as well as General George Washington’s second-in-command. In 1778, France and the United States officially became allies through the Treaty of Alliance. The following year Lafayette returned to his homeland to continue advocating for the American cause.
Thanks to the efforts of men like Lafayette, the United States had the gunpowder, cannons and other supplies it needed to fight for its independence. In recognition of Lafayette’s contributions to the founding of our nation, there are over 50 American cities, counties, streets and parks that bear the name “Lafayette,” as well as at least 17 statues of Lafayette spread across our nation.
The 1789 Lafayette Medal
In 1789, the Paris Mint celebrated Lafeyette’s dedication to Freedom and the American cause with a special octagonal medal. It features a portrait engraved by renowned French artist Rambert Dumarest. The reverse depicts the emblem of the French Grenadiers as well as the Paris Coat of Arms, along with a banner reading “Vivre Libre Ou Mourir,” a French translation of our Founding Fathers’ motto “Live Free or Die.”
Proof Coins Minted in 99.9% Gold or Silver
This new 2020 Lafayette Octagonal Proof Coin is available struck in one ounce of 99.9% pure gold or two ounces of 99.9% fine silver. A round, 22.2-gram 90% fine silver proof is also available. Each coin is official France legal tender, with values of 200, 25 and 10 Euro, respectively.
Minted in Proof condition, each coin features frosty devices and mirrored fields, for an incredible level of shine, detail and contrast the original 1897 medals could not have hoped to match. Only today’s modern minting technology, with carefully polished planchets, treated dies and multiple strikes under incredible pressure, are coins of this brilliance possible.
Certified Flawless and First Day of Issue by NGC
Coins are graded on a scale of 1 to 70, with a top grade representing perfection even under magnification. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is one of the world’s leading third-party grading services. Each patriotic Gold or Silver Lafayette Octagonal Proof you secure here will arrive certified by NGC as flawless Proof-70 Ultra Cameo (PF70 UC) condition!
In addition, your coins will arrive with the special First Day of Issue (FDI) pedigree. Coins certified as FDI must be secured from the mint on the very first day of release and received by NGC for grading within 24 hours.
Exclusive Limited Mintages
For this first-ever release of octagonal French coins, we have been named the exclusive distributor of the One-Ounce Gold and Two-Ounce Silver coins outside of France.
Mintages are extremely limited, with only 1,500 Two-Ounce Silver and 250 One-Ounce Gold Proofs authorized. Even fewer will ever be submitted for grading and receive a flawless grade of PF70 UC as well as the special FDI pedigree.
This release marks a historic milestone for the Paris Mint. It’s also a fantastic way for you to get your hands on one of the designs created to celebrate the founding of our nation. Hurry and secure yours today
2020 France One-Ounce Gold Lafayette Octagonal Proof
2020 France Two-Ounce Silver Lafayette Octagonal Proof
2020 France 22.2-Gram Silver Lafayette Round Proof
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