Belgium / 1 Products

The Kingdom of Belgium is a Northwestern European country that is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. 

In 1830, Belgium separated from the Netherlands and established its independence. The Belgian franc was adopted as the national currency in 1832. The franc was subdivided into 100 centiem/centime. 

The first series of Belgian franc coins were struck in silver and bronze. The law allowed the minting of gold coins, but these were rare. In 1860, Belgium became the first country in the world to issue cupronickel coins. The first coins with Dutch inscriptions appeared in 1886. Coins were the common means of payment because banknotes were only issued by private banks. The banking crisis of 1848 added to the legalization and adoption of banknotes. The denominations issued were 1 centime, 2 centime, 5 centime, 10 centime, ¼ franc, ½ franc, 1 franc, 2 francs, 5 francs, 20 francs, and 40 francs. The ¼ franc was replaced by the 20-centime coin in 1852. 

During the German occupation of the First World War, the production of 1 centime and all silver and gold coins ceased. In 1919, the production of 2 centime also ceased. Coins were struck in zinc, nickel-brass, and nickel. The public hoarded metal coins because the convertibility of banknotes was suspended. 

In 1926, the belga was introduced to dissociate the Belgian franc from the French franc and improve the convertibility of the Belgian currency. Coins were struck with both the franc and belga denominations until 1944. 

Silver coins were discontinued in 1940, after Germany reoccupied Belgium. Zinc replaced all other metals. Old prewar coins were replaced in 1948.  

A new series of coins was introduced in 1948. The coins included were the bronze 20- and 50- centimes, the cupronickel 1- and 5-francs, and the silver 50- and 100-francs. The coins depicted classical allegorical figures. The silver coins ceased production after 1955. 

In 1964, the 25-centime coin replaced the 20-centime. The 25-centime coins were discontinued in 1975. 

In 1969, coins that featured King Baudouin were introduced. The nickel 10- and 50-franc coins and the nickel-bronze 20-franc coin replaced their corresponding banknotes. Cupro-nickel was replaced by aluminum-bronze (5 franc) and nickel-plated iron (1 franc). 

In 1994, the coins were redesigned to feature King Albert II. This series ceased production in 2000 as Belgium adopted the euro. Coins were convertible until 2004.    

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