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The franc is any of various units of
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed t ...

currency
. One franc is typically divided into 100
centime Centime (from la, centesimus) is French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country p ...
s. The name is said to derive from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
inscription ''francorum rex'' (
King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by individuals called Dux, dukes and Monarch, reguli. The earliest group of Franks that rose to prominence were the Salian Franks ...
) used on early
French
French
coins and until the 18th century, or from the
French
French
''franc'', meaning "frank" (and "free" in certain contexts, such as ''coup franc'', "free kick" ). The countries that use francs today include
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
,
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europ ...

Liechtenstein
, and most of
Francophone Africa African French (french: français africain) is the generic name of the Varieties of French, varieties of the French language spoken by an estimated 141 million people in Africa in 2018 spread across 34 countries and territories.29 full members ...

Francophone Africa
. The Swiss franc is a major world currency today due to the prominence of
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...

Swiss
financial institutions Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporations that provide services as intermediaries of financial markets. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of financial institutions: # Depository institutions ...
. Before the introduction of the
euro The euro (currency symbol, symbol: euro sign, €; ISO 4217, code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 of the Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area ...

euro
in 1999, francs were also used in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
and
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
, while
Andorra Andorra (, ; ), officially the Principality of Andorra ( ca, Principat d'Andorra), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French ( ...

Andorra
and
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
accepted the
French franc The franc (; ; sign: F or Fr), also commonly distinguished as the (FF), was a currency of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, cons ...
as
legal tender Legal tender is a form of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner, 1 ...
( Monegasque franc). The franc was also used within the
French Empire#REDIRECT French Empire {{Redirect shell , {{R from ambiguous page {{R from other capitalisation ...
's colonies, including
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
and
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
. The franc is sometimes Italianised or Hispanicised as the ''franco'', for instance in Luccan franco.


Origins

The franc was originally a French
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
coin of 3.87 g minted in 1360 on the occasion of the release of King
John II ("the Good")
John II (
, held by the English since his capture at the
Battle of Poitiers The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . ...
four years earlier. It was equivalent to one ''
livre tournois The ''livre tournois'' (), French for the "Tours Tours ( , ) is one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire Centre-Val de Loire (, , ,In isolation, ''Centre'' is pronounced . ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), ...

livre tournois
'' (Tours pound).


French franc

The
French franc The franc (; ; sign: F or Fr), also commonly distinguished as the (FF), was a currency of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, cons ...
was originally a gold coin issued in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
from 1360 until 1380, then a silver coin issued between 1575 and 1641. The franc finally became the national currency from 1795 until 1999 (franc coins and notes were legal tender until 2002). Though abolished as a legal coin by King
Louis XIII Louis XIII (; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was from 1610 until his death in 1643 and (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown. Shortly before his ninth bi ...
in 1641 in favor of the gold
louisLouis may refer to: * Louis (given name) Louis is the French language, French form of the Old Frankish language, Old Frankish given name Clovis (given name), Chlodowig and one of two English language, English forms, the other being Lewis (given nam ...
and silver
écu The term ''écu'' () or crown may refer to one of several French coin A coin is a small, flat, (usually, depending on the country or value) round piece of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, ...
, the term franc continued to be used in common parlance for the
livre tournois The ''livre tournois'' (), French for the "Tours Tours ( , ) is one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire Centre-Val de Loire (, , ,In isolation, ''Centre'' is pronounced . ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), ...

livre tournois
. The franc was also minted for many of the former French colonies, such as Morocco, Algeria, French West Africa, and others. Today, after independence, many of these countries continue to use the franc as their standard denomination. The value of the French franc was locked to the
euro The euro (currency symbol, symbol: euro sign, €; ISO 4217, code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 of the Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area ...

euro
at 1 euro = 6.55957 FRF on 31 December, 1998, and after the
introduction of the euro The euro The euro (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very differ ...
notes and coins, ceased to be legal tender after 28 February, 2002, although they were still exchangeable at banks until 19 February, 2012.


CFA and CFP francs

Fourteen African countries use the franc CFA (in west Africa, ''Communauté financière africaine''; in equatorial Africa, ''Coopération financière en Afrique centrale''), originally (1945) worth 1.7 French francs and then from 1948, 2 francs (from 1960: 0.02 new franc) but after January 1994 worth only 0.01 French franc. Therefore, from January 1999, 1 CFA franc is equivalent to €0.00152449. On 22 December 2019, it was announced that the CFA franc would be replaced in 2020 by an independent currency to be called Eco. A separate ( franc CFP) circulates in France's Pacific territories, worth €0.0084 (formerly 0.055 French franc).


Comorian franc

In 1981, The
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
established an arrangement with the French government similar to that of the CFA franc. Originally, 50
Comorian franc The franc (french: link=no, franc comorien; ar, فرنك قمري; sign: CF; ISO 4217 ISO 4217 is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification ...
s were worth 1 French franc. In January 1994, the rate was changed to 75 Comorian francs to the French franc. Since 1999, the currency has been pegged to the euro.


Belgian franc and Luxembourgish franc

The conquest of most of western Europe by Revolutionary and Napoleonic France led to the franc's wide circulation. Following independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the new Kingdom of
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
in 1832 adopted its own Belgian franc, equivalent to the French one, followed by
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
adopting the Luxembourgish franc in 1848 and Switzerland in 1850. Newly unified
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
adopted the
lira Lira is the name of several currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray ...
on a similar basis in 1862. In 1865, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy created the
Latin Monetary Union The Latin Monetary Union (LMU) was a 19th-century system that unified several Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict cr ...
(to be joined by Spain and Greece in 1868): each would possess a national currency unit (franc, lira, peseta, drachma) worth 4.5 g of silver or of gold (fine), all freely exchangeable at a rate of 1:1. In the 1870s the gold value was made the fixed standard, a situation which was to continue until 1914. In 1926
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
as well as France experienced depreciation and an abrupt collapse of confidence, leading to the introduction of a new gold currency for international transactions, the ''belga'' of 5 francs, and the country's withdrawal from the monetary union, which ceased to exist at the end of the year. The 1921 monetary union of Belgium and Luxembourg survived, however, forming the basis for full economic union in 1932. Like the French franc, the Belgo-Luxemburgish franc ceased to exist on 1 January 1999, when it became fixed at 1 EUR = 40.3399 BEF/LUF, thus a franc was worth €0.024789. Old franc coins and notes lost their legal tender status on 28 February 2002. 1 Luxembourgish franc was equal to 1 Belgian franc. Belgian francs were legal tender inside Luxembourg, and Luxembourgish francs were legal tender in the whole of Belgium. (In reality, Luxembourgish francs were only accepted as means of payment by shops and businesses in the Belgian province of Luxembourg adjacent to the independent Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, this for historical reasons.) The equivalent name of the Belgian franc in
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, Belgium's other official language, was ''Belgische Frank''. As mentioned before, in Luxembourg the franc was called ''Frang'' (plural ''Frangen'').


Swiss franc and Liechtenstein franc

The Swiss franc ( ISO code: CHF or 756), which appreciated significantly against the new European currency from April to September 2000, remains one of the world's strongest currencies, worth today around five-sixths of a euro. The Swiss franc is used in
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
and in
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein ( ; ), officially the Principality of Liechtenstein (german: link=no, Fürstentum Liechtenstein), is a German-speaking The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europ ...

Liechtenstein
. Liechtenstein retains the ability to mint its own currency, the
Liechtenstein franc The Swiss franc (plural: francs; in German: ''Frank'', plural: ''Franken'') has been the currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Ima ...
, which it does from time to time for commemorative or emergency purposes. The name of the country "Swiss Confederation" is found on some of the coins in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
(''Confoederatio Helvetica''), as Switzerland has four official languages, all of which are used on the notes. The denomination is abbreviated "Fr." on the coins which is the abbreviation in all four languages.


Saar franc

The
Saar francThe Saar franc was the French franc (german: Franken) used as the official currency of the Saarland, Saar during the times that the Saar territory was economically split off from Germany, in 1920–1935 as the Saar (League of Nations), Territory of t ...
, linked at par to the French franc, was introduced in the
Saar Protectorate The Saar Protectorate (german: Saarprotektorat ; french: Protectorat de la Sarre) officially Saarland (french: Sarre) was a short-lived protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is ...
in 1948. On 1 January 1957, the territory joined the
Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , demonym = Germans, German , government_ ...
, nevertheless, in its new
member state A member state is a state that is a member of an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the be ...

member state
of
Saarland The Saarland ( , , ; french: Sarre ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper) ...
, the Saar franc continued to be the currency until 6 July 1959. The name of the Saar franc in
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
, the main official language in the Protectorate, was ''Franken''. Coins displaying German inscriptions and the coat of arms of the Protectorate were circulated and used together with French francs. As banknotes, only French franc bills existed.


Countries that use a franc


Countries currently using a franc


Current


=Collectivities franc

=


Defunct


See also

*
Cape Verdean escudo The escudo (sign A sign is an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object wh ...
*
Latin Monetary Union The Latin Monetary Union (LMU) was a 19th-century system that unified several Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict cr ...
* The Latverian franc is the currency of the fictional country of
Latveria Latveria is a fictional country '' A fictional country is a country that is made up for fictional stories, and does not exist in real life, or one that people believe in without proof. Sailors have always mistaken low clouds for land masses ...
. *Special settlement currencies **
UIC franc The UIC Franc (code In communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ...
**
Gold franc The gold franc (currency code: XFO) was the unit of account for the Bank for International Settlements from 1930 until April 1, 2003. It was replaced with the special drawing right. It was originally based on the French Franc#French Empire and Re ...
*
Livre tournois The ''livre tournois'' (), French for the "Tours Tours ( , ) is one of the largest cities in the Centre-Val de Loire Centre-Val de Loire (, , ,In isolation, ''Centre'' is pronounced . ; Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), ...

Livre tournois
(French pound) *
Roman currency Roman currency for most of Roman history The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the ...
* New Hebrides franc *
Westphalian frank The Westphalian frank was a currency of the Kingdom of Westphalia between 1808 and 1813. It circulated alongside the Thaler, was equal to the French franc The franc (; ; sign: F or Fr), also commonly distinguished as the (FF), was a currency ...
* Reunion franc


References


External links

*
Swiss Franc Tracker - CHF
{{Franc Currencies of Europe Denominations (currency)