This web site is developed and owned by Dave Mills, an avid collector and researcher of the area. Thanks to Madison and to Robin Frost for providing additional banknote images. Thanks to Scott Guye for providing much of the translation of this site to French, and to Pawel Zielinski and Marcin Piotrowski for the translation to Polish.

Banknote Theft

Between August 7-20, 2009, I was the victim of a theft, and would like the everyone to be on the lookout for some stolen banknotes.

Abbreviations and Icons Used

INV: (Latin: invenit, French: a inventé) the original artist
DEL: (Latin: delineavit, French: a dessiné), producer of the definitive sketch of the design
SC: (Latin: sculpsit, French: a sculpté), engraver of the plate (or other medium for printing)
FEC: (Latin: fecit, French: a fait), "he made it" - a broader term used when one person has the role of both INV and DEL

Imp: Imprimerie, printing house

The terms Relief, Intaglio, Lithography and Offset may be mentioned with reference to the printing technique used for a particular banknote. See The Creation of a French Banknote for details of these printing methods.

ND: Issue date is not listed on banknote

(F): Face of note
(B): Back of note

Look for the EURion constellation, a graphical image being used on many banknotes since 2002 that is detected by copy machines to aid anti-counterfeiting efforts.

Also be aware of the Counterfeit Detection System of 2004, which is a much more comprehensive mechanism to "...allow detection of banknotes" which is not visible to the naked eye yet can be (and is) implemented in scanning and image manipulation software. If you are unable to scan modern banknotes, it is the CDS that is stopping you.

Catalogs and Reference Documents

France: Les Billets Français de la Banque de France et du Tresor 1800-2002 (F), by Claude Fayette

France: Les Assignats et les Papiers-Monnaies Emis par l'Etat au XVIIIe Siecle (L), by Jean Lafaurie

France: Catalogue Général des Assignats Français, detailed information on French assignats, by Jean-Luc Buathier

France: Les Billets Française de la Banque de France, by Maryse Souque et al, pub. Banque de France

France: Trois Siecles de Billets Français, by Michel Daspre

France: Les Billets des Chambres de Commerce (Pir), by Jean Pirot

French Indochina (Indochina, Djibouti, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Hebrides): Les Billets de la Banque de l'Indochine by Maurice Kolsky and Maurice Muszynski, Pub. Victor Gadoury

French Africa: Les Billets Africains de la Zone Franc (LK), by Roger LeClerc and Maurice Kolsky

Paper-Money Inflation in France, a paper published in 1876 by Andrew White on the French Assignat issues that began in 1790. Fascinating reading.

West African States: The Many Varieties of West African States Banknotes, by Weldon D. Burson

World: Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (P, SCWPM), three volumes: General, Modern and Specialized Issues, Pub. Krause

Wiki: Both the French and English versions of Wikipedia have provided useful content to this site on monetary systems, banks, and artists.

Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia: Coins and Banknotes of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, by Zlatko Viscevic. This is the definitive volume of the region, with an updated edition for 2010.

For grading banknotes, see the the IBNS Grading Standard.

Printing Firms

See The Emergence of Modern Business Enterprise in France, 1800-1930 by Michael Smith for interesting reading on printing in France.

Banque de France (BdF), founded in 1800 at the time of modernization of France's banking and finance systems. BdF has printed all banknotes for France other than during occupation.

François-Charles Oberthür (FCO), French printing firm producing modern banknotes including many for African states alongside Banque de France.

Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Co., Boston MA, USA

DuPont et Cie, French "Industrial" publishing/print shop, opened in 1818 as a low cost book printing firm, with facilities in Paris and Clichy.

Chaix, Paris, Founded by Napoleon Chaix after leaving DuPont in 1945.

Thomas De La Rue (DLR), English printing firm, printed some of the French occupation notes.

Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co. (BWC), English printing firm, printed some notes for the French Community.

Banks and Economic Statistics

The CIA World Factbook

The Global History of Currencies

Professional Organizations

Association Française pour l'Étude du Papier-Monnaie - French banknote association

The International Bank Note Society - An International Association of World Paper Money Collectors

Banknote Galleries & Sites

Ron Wise's World Paper Money Gallery - Huge number of donated images

Le Site du Collectionneur - French site with many images and technical details

Numismondo World Paper Money Picture Catalog

Paper Money & Banknote Directory

Catalogs & Supplies

Fayette-Editions - Specialized French catalogs & references

Editions Gadoury - Specialized French catalogs & references

Krause Publications - General worldwide catalogs

Denly's of Boston - Melinex (Mylar D equivalent) banknote holders

Banknote News - Keep your eyes on Owen Linzmayer's new issue updates and progress on The Banknote Book, the new world catalog he's putting together