The 10 Francs coin was a common denomination of French gold currency during the 19th century. Introduced in 1803 during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, 10 Francs Gold Coins would go on to feature various rulers of both the French Republic and the French Empire.
Napoleon III was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, and though he came to power in a much different manner than his uncle, he would leave power in disgrace just as he power-hungry uncle did. The 10 Francs Gold Coins available here today come from various years of issue during Napoleon IIIs reign.
The first democratically elected President of France under direct voting, Napoleon III originally featured on 10 Francs Gold Coins from 1848 to 1852 with wording that reflected the nations status as the French Republic, or Republique Francaise. However, facing the end of his term in 1852, Napoleon III directed a self-coup and directed the nation back to status as an empire in which he was the Emperor of France.
10 Francs Gold Coins issued between 1853 and the end of his reign in 1870 bore inscriptions of Empire Francais, or French Empire. Napoleon III was eventually exiled from France in 1870, bringing an end to his rule as the Emperor of France.
The obverse side of the 10 Francs Gold Coins in this listing feature Napoleon III in a right-profile portrait. Created by Jean Jacques Barre, there are two versions of the designs of his bust. Early coins in the issue feature a bare head, while later coin issues have a laurel wreath on his head signifying imperial or military glory.
On the reverse of 10 Francs Gold Coins, there are also two design options. Some coins have the legend in the center that reads 10 Francs and the year of issue with a wreath surrounding. Other coins have the French coat of arms in the center of that wreath instead. All of these coins are available in circulated condition, indicating the presence of typical wear and tear from circulation and handling.