QUESTION: I found some fr. francs left over from a vacation trip several years ago. Are they of any value to collectors now that the euro conversion date has passed? The 50 cinquante notes have 1993 & 1994 dates. The 100 cent franc notes are dated 1993 & 1995. One group of 200 deux cent franc notes are dated 1995, '96 & '97. The other 200 franc notes are 1988, 1992 & 1994. Thank you
ANSWER: Hi . . . David!
My quick answer is that for 1990's bills to specialized collectors is that the value is pretty limited, if any. Below are a few highlights from a Los Angles Times story earlier this year.
Feb. 17, 2012 LA Times story:
France's former currency is devalued to zilch
Hundreds line up at the Bank of France in Paris on the last day to convert old francs to euros. Nostalgia and doomsday predictions are in the air.
Amateur collectors worked the crowd for limited editions, warning against giving away potentially valuable bills. One doomsaying politician called for a return to the discarded currency. And people of all ages waited patiently to turn in their forgotten, worn-out francs.
A decade after being pushed aside by the euro, the franc on Friday officially became a relic.
It was the last day to exchange old currency for euros, and the event attracted hundreds to the Bank of France in Paris, the only location in the capital able to convert the colorful bills.
"A page in our history has turned," said Michel Gagnepain, 63, who got just 10.67 euros for his 70 francs but who had shown up to be part of the historic moment. "I'm glad I came. There's a little folklore that comes with being here. After this, it's over."
Like many others waiting for fresh euros, Gagnepain had kept a few francs at home as keepsakes after they were no longer accepted as legal tender in stores.
By Saturday, most of the estimated $723 million worth of francs remaining in the world will be nothing more than pretty pieces of paper, monetarily speaking.
But to many of those who huddled in the drizzle Friday, the old bills printed with portraits of French figures such as painter Paul Cezanne and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery represented a lot more: the memory of a less anxious time, one that existed before their Eurozone troubles.
"Francs remind me of the good old days, back when you were young, and went out with 100 francs and you felt rich, happy! Today, 100 euros is nothing," said Patrick Berdah, 46, who was waving euros in the air, hoping to buy some old bills from the crowd and frame them for his children.
Full story at:
Lots of currency was printed in the 1990's and it was fairly common, printed in massive quantities, etc. Maybe you could find a collector and/or dealer to pay a little more, but it could be challenging, especially from here in the USA. Where do you live?
Sorry! Wish I could be more encouraging. BUT, right now, it would take some luck and being in the right place with a good dealer to cash in that much for right now. Maybe in ten or twenty years that could change.
Reactions to these various ideas and options???? Look forward to hearing back from you with more details and specifics.
Does this start to help a little? What are your needs for added information? Be happy to provide additional info and answer other questions after learning more from you. Be sure to complete the evaluation section so that our "bosses" on this volunteer service know we are working hard to make inquiring minds as happy as possible. ENJOY! Merci Beaucoup!
Thanks. Terry Casey in Columbus, Ohio
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QUESTION: Terry - I appreciate the above. It is very helpful to know the real situation because I had not been able to get much solid info. In answer to your question - I live in Chattanooga, TN. I kind of like your idea of keeping it for several years. It is in great condition. I will likely pass it on to children or grandchildren. I'd appreciate any other thoughts or ideas that occur to you?
Thanks, David Tatum
Appreciate, David, your follow-up, nice ratings and added information. Chattagooga, like Columbus, is a nice town, but more limited in having such dealers for these types of specialized collector items. Wonderful that what you have is in excellent condition.
Saving it for the children or grandchildren sounds like a plan. Whether they will be interested in "old things" in the future is a good question. Clearly as noted in the LA Times, there are many in France wishing for the "good old days" when the Euro was not "it" and the French Franc was still the currency.
Only time will tell.
Let me know any other France questions.
ENJOY! Merci Beaucoup!
Thanks. Terry Casey in Columbus, Ohio