Bon pour coins: token-like centimes and francs


1 franc ("bon pour"), 1897: Martinique (Overseas France)

1 franc ("bon pour"), 1897: Martinique as part of Overseas France

Martinique — possession (overseas department) of France on the island of the same name in the Lesser Antilles group in the Caribbean Sea of the Atlantic Ocean.

BON POUR - 1 FRANC - 1897: Good for 1 franc, 1897 (indicating the equivalence of this token-like coin to 1 franc).

CONTRE-VALEUR DÉPOSÉE AU TRÉSOR: the denomination is backed by treasures (value deposited in the treasury).

Engraver: Alfred Borrel (the micro inscription A.BORREL under the date).

The denomination of the coin and the date are surrounded by a wreath.

RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE. COLONIE DE LA MARTINIQUE: French Republic. Colony of the Martinique.

Traditionally dressed local woman.

Six-pointed star above the portrait.

Paris Mint (Monnaie de Paris, France).

Mintage: 300.000.

Interesting: Napoleon Bonaparte's wife Joséphine de Beauharnais was born on the island of Martinique in 1763.

  • Copper-nickel: 26 mm - 7.84 g
  • Reference price: 40$

BON POUR COINS — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. MARTINIQUE, Overseas France (1897-1922): franc = 100 centimes
  2. GUADELOUPE, Overseas France (1903-1921): franc = 100 centimes
  3. RÉUNION, Overseas France (1896): franc = 100 centimes
  4. FRENCH REPUBLIC (1920-1929): franc = 100 centimes
  5. KINGDOM OF BELGIUM (1922-1934): franc = 100 centimes
  6. GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG (1924-1935): franc = 100 centimes
  7. FRENCH PROTECTORATE OF TUNISIA (1921-1945): franc = 100 centimes

BON POUR COINS as coin name.
This numismatic name is not the denomination of the coin. It is completely conditional and artificial, but it immediately makes it clear to any numismatist which coins are meant.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, several French-speaking countries and territories at the time minted rather strange coins (sometimes considered tokens, substitutes for the usual coins for circulation), which were united by the mysterious inscription "BON POUR".
These are coins primarily of France and its overseas territories (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion), as well as Belgium, Luxembourg, and Tunisia.
Literally, the phrase "Bon pour" is translated from French as "Good for...". This phrase was placed in front of the denomination (for example, "Bon Pour 50 centimes") and indicated the equivalence of the coin to one or another real value.
The fact is that during the specified historical period (mostly after World War I), France was going through not the best times in terms of economy. The shortage was felt in many aspects of life, including difficulties with the supply of non-ferrous metals for the mass national issue of coins. In such conditions, the government granted the right to issue coins to chambers of commerce and industry (the so-called "Chambers of Commerce Coinage").
In fact, it was not official French money, but only compensatory issues. However, they were widely used by the entire population for a long time.