Short after WWII, France lacked small change. Arming industry had required much metal like copper and the government didn't strike small coins anymore.

In 1920 Édouard Bouchaud-Praceiq invented the money-stamp. A postal stamp was sealed between a slice of aluminum or tinplate and a slice of transparent mica, in order to be used as a substitute for official coins.

Contrary to other tokens of this period, the facial value was guaranteed by a stamp with a fiduciary value (the stamp could even be reused), while keeping the advantage of being protected against damage or deterioration.

The production costs were pretty high: 10 centimes to produce a 5 to 25-centimes coin. These costs were met by companies who used money-stamps for their promotion. The French bank "Crédit Lyonnais" especially used this kind of advertisement (see picture).

Money-stamps stopped circulating in 1924, when French government began producing new coins.

Many different types were produced. Main differences are the stamp value, the background color, and the advertisement on the back. Unfortunately there are very few of each and they are pretty rare nowadays.

If you want to learn more about French money-stamps, you may want to read this article or view some pictures.


Post your comment

Author Message
Joined: 15-Jul-2009
Posts: 4
An  interesting italian for italian stamp-coins.

Aurelio - Italy

Joined: 1-Nov-2010
Posts: 1604
This was also done in the United States during the American Civil War 1861-1865.

"Prior to the first production of Fractional Currency in August 1862, there were numerous efforts both public and private to combat the coin shortage including the cutting of paper currency into pieces to be used separately and the issuance of fractional scrip by merchants and other private interests. Among the most interesting of these schemes were those which involved the use of postage stamps in lieu of currency. Postage stamps were in some ways ideally suited for the purpose; they already existed in large quantities, in denominations appropriate for trade, and with security features in place to make counterfeiting difficult. However, their small size, gummed backs, and inherent fragility were significant drawbacks. Various workarounds were put into place. Stamps were affixed to card stock and velum paper. The most well known and ingenious method – known as encased postage – involved sealing a stamp in a brass coin-like holder behind a transparent piece of mica. Encased postage is highly sought after in today's collectibles marketplace. "

Post reply

Used time zone is UTC+1:00.
Current time is 08:01PM.