Old French gold coin uncovered in Israel

08:18, May 17, 2010      

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Israeli archaeologists are excited by their recent finding: a gold coin from the reign of the French ruler Napoleon III.

Calling this a "greeting from Napoleon III", Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said in a statement that its archaeologists uncovered an old French gold coin during an excavation in north Jaffa, an ancient city now part of Tel Aviv.

This is the first time that such a coin was found in the city, said Robert Kool, a numismatist with the IAA.

"European gold coins were common in the Ottoman Empire which suffered a severe financial crisis in the late 19th century," he said, adding "documents and coins that were found in the past in Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva attest to the popularity of European gold. "

The 10 franc coin, which is made of 93 percent gold, was minted in Paris in 1856 during the time of the Second French Empire.

It bears the portrait of the French Emperor Napoleon III. Nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, he was elected in 1848 as the President of French Second Republic, and ascended the throne in 1852 after a coup d'etat.



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