France has long been a country rich in history. From the glory of the Sun King to the depths of being a battleground in both World Wars, it has been a history of highs and lows. Once the "major owner" of North America, few remember the place France held in the shaping of the New World. Without the support of France in the American Revolution it is very possible that the United States would not exist. Yet while most Americans know some basic English history, French history is all but ignored but that ignorance can be overcome through a study of their coins.
From the issues of French Oceania to French Indo China (the country we came to know as Vietnam), we can learn of the empire France truly was. From the issues of the German occupation of World War II, we can learn more of the recent history of France and of the world. We can delve deeper into names like Napoleon and others. In short we can learn and have fun as well.
France like some other countries presents a challenge though; few really detailed English language reference works. Any one (or several) of the "Century Editions" of "The Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler will give you a good start for many years. But eventually you may want to consider joining one the specialized French Numismatic Societies and link with fellow collectors; which is good advice no matter what country you decide to collect.
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