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France 1986 Statue of Liberty 100th Anniversary Centennial 100 Francs Silver BU Piedfort

France 1986 Statue of Liberty 100th Anniversary Centennial 100 Francs Silver BU Piedfort

Manufacturer: France
SKU: 23740
Price: $89.95 $69.95
List Price: $99.95 - Savings: $30.00
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This low-mintage, double-thick silver coin commemorates the Statue of Liberty on its 100th anniversary!

Statue_of_Liberty_BW_Face.jpgSold out at the Mint!What sight could be more beautiful and welcoming than Lady Liberty with the flame of freedom held high aloft? The world-famous Statue of Liberty has greeted generations of immigrants (and tourists) for over a century as she stands proudly in New York Harbor, where she remains a physical reminder of the freedoms that the United States represents. This unique, double-thick silver coin commemorates the centenary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. Appropriately enough, the denomination is 100 francs.

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The Statue of Liberty
Liberty Enlightening the World, known more commonly as the Statue of Liberty, was given to the United States by France in 1885 and stands on Liberty Island in the mouth of the Hudson River as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans. The copper statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the United States in 1876 and is a gesture of friendship between the two nations. The sculptor was Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower, engineered the internal structure. A short biography of Bartholdi can be found lower on this page.

The statue of Lady Liberty is an allegory, filled with symbolism. She holds a torch in her right hand, representing the light of freedom, and a tablet in her left. The tablet shows the inscription JULY IV MDCCLXXVI - July 4, 1776, the date of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. One of her feet stands on chains, symbolizing the acquired freedom from oppression. The seven spikes in her crown represent the seven seas and seven continents.

Statue_of_Liberty_Facts.jpg Her height from ground to the top of the torch is 305 feet; this includes the foundation and the pedestal. The height of the statue itself, from the top of the base to the torch, is 151 feet. The statue weighs 204 tons and the pedestal weighs 24,500 tons. Lady Liberty was built from thin copper plates hammered into wooden forms through a process known as repoussé. The formed plates were then mounted onto a steel skeleton. The pedestal is built from stone and Rosendale natural cement. She was restored through a massive public campaign between 1984 and 1986, and reopened just in time for her centennial.

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A Note on Piedforts
France is one of only a very few countries in the world to ever strike piedforts, or double-thick coins. The increased depth of a piedfort is readily visible to the naked eye - in this instance, the coin is 5 mm (1/5 inch) thick! As a result, each also has double the silver content of the standard issue. Most piedforts are generally struck in much smaller quantities than their regular counterparts - the Statue of Liberty 100 Francs Piedfort has a mintage limit of only 5,000! Well-known in Europe for decades, piedforts are catching on with collectors in North America as well.

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Obverse
A simple, bold and yet dynamic portrait of the Statue of Liberty, as she gazes straight forward as if regarding her viewer. The dates of her centennial, 1886-1986, and RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE are also noted.

Reverse
The a stylized version of the motto of the French Republic, LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ is presented as part of the Tree of Life motif, capped by a Phrygian or Liberty Cap. The date of issue and denomination are also indicated.

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Specifications
Country France
Year of Issue 1986
   
Face Value 100 Francs
Weight 30.00 g
Diameter 32.00 mm
Mintage Limit     5,000
   
Finish Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition .900 Fine Silver
Edge Plain
Packaging Encapsulated

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the famous French sculptor, was born in Colmar, Alsace in 1834. He studied architecture in Colmar and then went to Paris to further his studies in architecture as well as painting. Bartholdi would go on to become one of the most celebrated sculptors of the 19th century, famous both in Europe and in North America. He would specialize in large-scale sculptures that serve as significant monuments.

The work for which he is most famous is the Statue of Liberty, donated by the government of France in 1886 to the United States. The face of the Statue of Liberty is said to be that of Bartholdi’s mother. Before starting his commission, he traveled to the United States to personally select New York Harbor as the site for the statue. In 1879 Bartholdi was awarded design patent U.S. Patent D11,023 for the Statue of Liberty. This patent covered the sale of small copies of the statute. Proceeds from the sale of the statues helped raise money to build the full statue.

His largest European work, The Lion of Belfort, at Belfort, France, is one of his most popular and best-known. A massive sculpture of a lion, it is carved into the side of a mountain and honors the defense of Belfort during the Franco-Prussian War. Bartholdi died of tuberculosis in Paris on October 4, 1904 and is buried in that city's Montparnasse Cemetery.

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Lion of Belfort
The Lion of Belfort
The Lion of Belfort is a huge stone sculpture Belfort, France by Frédéric Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty. It was finished in 1880 and is carved entirely of pink sandstone. The blocks from which it's made were individually sculpted then moved to its location beneath Belfort castle to be assembled. The sculpture is more than 70 feet long and 35 feet high and dominates the local landscape. Instead of facing Prussia to the east as was intended, it was turned the other way because of German objections.

The lion symbolizes the heroic resistance of Belfort during a 103 days long Prussian siege (from December 1870 to February 1871). The city, under assault from 40,000 Prussians, was defended by only 17,000 men (only 3,500 of whom were enlisted in the military) lead by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau. Copies of the statue stand in the center of Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris, and in the Montreal Botanical Gardens.

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