17th Century Writer George Sand Honoured on French Coins

20 Jul 2018  Fri

Monnaie de Paris had introduced a new series of coins in 2016 to honour the most influential women in the history of France. The coins are produced using the same strike that was used for making coins from the historic Clovis and Republic series. However, textile patterns have been used instead of the hammer effect to effectively represent the era. This new technique enhances the drawing of coins. Personalities like Queen Clotilde, Queen Mathilda and Joan of Arc, Catherine de Médicis, Marquise de Pompadour and Olympe de Gouges have already been featured on coins from the series.

George Sand (1804-1876) is featured on the latest coin. Due to her famous and an aristocratic ancestry, she grew up to imbibe strong political convictions. It was almost impossible for women to work in the 1830s, but George Sand began her career as a journalist for the Figaro newspaper with the help of her lover Jules Sandeau.

George Sand was considered one of the most influential writers of her time who fought for women’s rights. She also contributed greatly to the revolution of 1848 but gave up after she became overindulgent. Moreover, George Sand was criticized for dating too many men, her masculine dress code, and pseudonym. She was close to great artists like Honore de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo and Frederic Chopin. She breathed her last in Nohant Castle at the age of 72.

The obverse features George Sand wearing a masculine outfit and top hat. Important dates and her name are inscribed around the portrait. A tapestry is featured coming from the writer’s house - Nohant Castle. The reverse features a portrait of George Sand and Frederic Chopin that’s inspired by Delacroix’s painting. A music score composed by Chopin during this same time is seen in the background. Other inscriptions include FREDERIC CHOPIN * GEORGE SAND, the year 1838, RF for the French Republic, denomination 10 EURO for silver, 50 EURO for gold, date of issuance 2018, a cornucopia – the mintmark and the mark of current mint master Yves Sampo–a pentagon containing the letters AG, MP and YS. 1,000 7.78 grams .999 Proof gold coins and 5,000 22.2 grams .900 silver proof coins were released with a smooth edge.

Image Courtesy: Monnaie de Paris

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