Surprise Gold Acquisition
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I have an example of this coin as a silver proof but I didn't know they were minted in gold.My last journal was about my fencing coin custom set so I wasn't planning on writing about this topic so soon, but I spotted this coin on a German auction site and was very surprised to find out that it even existed. Like nearly all other coins depicting fencing, this is an Olympic commemorative. The historic French mint, Monnaie de Paris, produced silver 1-1/2 euro and gold 10 euro proof coins in 2006 for the 2008 summer games in Beijing. Now I have a gold example to go with the silver one in my collection.As I mentioned in my other journals, fencing coins are minted by many different countries but it's clearly an appropriate subject for France. The French fencers are no strangers to the Olympic podium, having won over 100 medals. They and the Italians have dominated the sport over the years, though the trend is more evenly distributed in recent times. USA fencers have won several medals in the last three Olympics (and I'm still waiting for the US mint to produce a fencing coin).The sport of fencing began in France in the 17th century and grew out of the need to learn and practice how to handle a sword for the purpose of dueling. Although dueling was universally outlawed by the early 17th century, it was deeply rooted in European culture and continued to be practiced by the aristocracy, spreading to military officers and higher social classes in more recent times. Being able to defending one's honor was considered a necessity in the days before libel lawsuits. From a business standpoint, your reputation was used to secure a letter of credit -- refusing to defend your honor could be equated to refusing to honor your debts. Pistols became the dueling weapon of choice in the 18th and 19th century before the phenomenon finally died out. However, the last duel with swords, according to Wikipedia, occurred in 1967 between two French politicians.This beautiful French 10 euro coin has a obverse design featuring the three fencing weapons; épée, sabre and foil superimposed on a globe pointing to Beijing, denomination over the arctic and date over the antarctic . On the reverse is a nicely executed image of two foil fencers with the Olympic date visible as if stenciled on the back of one of the fencers. The coin is 22mm in diameter and 8.45g of 0.92 fineness gold. Mintage of 1,000.~jack

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