A gold 5 Francs coin of Napoleon III, minted in Paris.

Napoleon III, nephew of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte, declared himself emperor in the year 1851. At a time of a great depreciation of Ottoman currency, foreign coins became more and more preeminent in Jerusalem’s markets, and many 19th century works quote prices in gold “Napoleons”. This particular coin, after removal from circulation, was perforated and incorporated into a piece of jewelry.

Obverse: Bearded head of Napoleon, surrounded by legend: “NAPOLEON III EMPEREUR”. The surname of the chief engraver of the Paris mint, Albert Désiré Barre, is seen at the bottom.

Reverse: “5 FRANCS 1858” within wreath, surrounded by legend: “EMPIRE FRANÇAIS”

Date: 1858