Note: This currency has been replaced by the Euro.
The French Franc was the national currency of France until the introduction of the Euro in 1999 (in full circulation in 2002). Because France is one of the biggest and most stable economies in the world, other currencies were pegged to the Franc (especially currencies in protectorate territories of France). The currency symbol of the Franc is ₣, or alternatively FF or F. French Franc coins were convertible to Euros (at the fixed rate of 6.55957 Francs = 1 Euro) until February 17, 2005 at the Banque de France.
- France is considered a moderately free economy, mixing private enterprise, state enterprise, and government intervention. A member of the G8 group, it is the fifth-largest economy in the world and the second-largest in Europe.
- All branches of economy are highly developed: France has modern agriculture and farming, prosperous heavy and light industry, an active and developing job market.
- France is the first tourist destination in the world, with a total of 81.9 million tourists in 2007.
- Like many other countries, France’s economy was affected by the global financial crisis, but it is gradually recovering.
- Main industries are tourism, aircraft, metallurgy, chemicals, machinery, automobiles, and food processing.
- Export products are plastics, aircraft, steel, iron, beverages, transportation equipment, and machinery.
- Import products are aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals.
- Unemployment is estimated at 9.6%.
- The first French Franc was introduced in the year 1360. Its value was equal one livre tournois, a unit of account used during the Middle Ages and the early modern period in France. France minted the currency at a later stage; however Louis XIII demolished the minting in 1641 and replaced it with the louis d’or and eco. The name Franc still remained.
- In 1795, the Franc was decimalized by the French Revolutionary Convention; 1 Franc = 10 decimes = 100 centimes.
- In 1803, a new Franc, called the "Germinal Franc", was introduced.
- The Latin Monetary Union was founded by the French in 1865 and the Germinal Franc was used as a common currency.
- In 1873, France joined the gold standard; 0.290322581g gold = 1 Franc.
- France left the LMU during World War I. The Franc was used in World War II as a sub-currency of the German Reichsmark after Germany occupied France. After World War II the Franc joined the Bretton Woods system.
- A new French Franc was introduced in 1960, due to devaluation in the 1940s and 1950s.
- In 1999, the French Franc was partially replaced by the Euro
- In 2002, the Euro became the official currency of France
Symbols and Names
- Symbols: ₣
- Nicknames: balle
ISO 4217 Code
- Centime = 1/100 of a Franc
- Bills: 20₣, 50₣, 100₣, 200₣, 500₣
- Coins: 5, 10, 20 centimes; ½₣, 1₣, 2₣, 5₣, 10₣, 20₣