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Eiffel Tower viewed from below, dates at right Script: Latin Lettering: TOUR EIFFEL 1889 1989 F. JOUBERT Engraver: Frédéric Joubert

1989 Eiffel Tower 5 Francs

The only circulating coin to feature this iconic landmark

Eiffel Tower viewed from below, dates at right

Script: Latin


Engraver: Frédéric Joubert

If you go to Numista and search for Eiffel Tower, it returns 99 coins. If you asked me to pick some of the most stunning, I would probably (you know, off the top of my head) suggest:

Cutout around the shape of the Eiffel tower.  Lettering around the edge: Eiffel Tower

Script: Latin


These are all beautiful coins, and from a range of countries and years. But one thing they all have in common is that they are all non-circulating. That means they were designed solely as collector pieces. They were never intended to go in your wallet or purse and be used to purchase things. It actually highlights one of the things I like most about circulating coins (coins which were designed to purchase things). Designing a beautiful sculpture is one thing, even one the size of coin. But odd-shaped cutouts, colours, gold-plating, etc aren’t conducive to circulating coins. Designing a coin which should survive the rigour of people’s purses and pockets, car floors, vending machines and counting machines all requires particular care.

So what is left? The one single circulating coin I can find featuring the Eiffel Tower is the 1989 5 Francs. The view from the bottom of the tower in the top photo on the page is a great angle. Here is a photo I found on Wikimedia commons at a similar(ish) angle:

Eiffel tower from ground level at night from a similar angle to the reverse of the coin which is inset top-left

And here is the obverse of the coin:

Base of tower, denomination above Script: Latin Lettering: REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE 5 F J.JIMENEZ Engraver: Joaquin Jimenez Read more on Wikipedia

As well as the expected country name around the outside, and 5F value. The coin has several other features:

  • J. JIMENEZ at the bottom – the name of the engraver:  Joaquin Jimenez. Coin designer at the Paris mint when this coin was minted, but later appointed Chief Engraver at the mint in 2020. He designed the obverse, Frédéric Joubert designed the reverse.
  • The coin also features the mintmark of the Paris mint and the privy mark of Émile Rousseau, General coin engraver,.
  • A view of the Eiffel tower from directly underneath. I was trying to decide if the view was from underneath or above. Based on seeing the four square feet of the tower, I concluded it was likely representative of what it would look like from below. NGC also call it “Base of tower”, which suggests from below as well.

Here is what that view looks like – or as much as you can get from ground level at least. Again, this photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

Eiffel Tower from directly underneath with the obverse of the coin inset in the lower-right

This coin honours the 100th anniversary of the completion of the building of the Eiffel Tower, after engineer Gustav Eiffel, whose company designed and built it. 2023 is the centenary of Gustav’s death, an event commemorated by the tower. It was the centrepiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. A marvel of engineering, the tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world. Made of Iron, the Eiffel tower is nicknamed “La dame de fer” (French for “Iron Lady”). It is estimated to weigh around 10,100 Tons, including 60 tons of paint alone! While it needs to be repainted every seven years, for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the tower will get a special golden paint job.

At 300 metres tall (330 to the tip) 986 feet, the Eiffel tower was the tallest building in the world when it was constructed and for the next 42 years.

What is your favourite monument or building on a coin?

Eiffel Tower viewed from below, dates at right Script: Latin Lettering: TOUR EIFFEL 1889 1989 F. JOUBERT Engraver: Frédéric Joubert






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