Republic gold Proof Piefort Franc 1979 Paris mint, KM-P639. Mintage was mere 600 pieces. An essentially perfect coin and absolutely gorgeous. Very RARE!
Piedforts are closely associated with France where they can be traced back to the twelfth century. Throughout history, the pursuit of coin collecting was referred to as the hobby of kings as only the very wealthy could afford to assemble a collection for pleasure. Such was the prestige of owning a piedfort coin that demand grew which culminated in the 'droit de pied fort' (the right of piedfort).
Coins struck on thick blanks were prepared on behalf of kings and noblemen primarily for the purposes of presentation and display, particularly from the mid-sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. From Poland to the Spanish Netherlands, from Sweden to northern Italy, coins of this sort provided rulers with a convenient means of emphasizing their wealth and power. Most of the modern Piedforts are made in silver, gold, or platinum. They are still usually double the normal thickness and weight. The inscription on the obverse Liberté Égalité Fraternité (Liberty Equality Fraternity) is the national motto of France. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not institutionalized until the Third Republic at the end of the 19th century. The first to express this motto was Maximilien Robespierre in his speech "On the organization of the National Guard" on 5 December 1790.
Additional Rarity: A Republic Ten-Piece Certified gold Proof Piefort Set 1979 sold at auction on April 7, 2017 for $16,450.