Republic of France, 5 Francs 1973


Republic of France, 5 Francs 1973 (obverse) Republic of France, 5 Francs 1973 (reverse)

There are many allegories of the Republic of France on French coins, but the sower is certainly the motif with the highest symbolism. It emblematizes the motto "I sow in every wind," (je sème à tout vent), meaning nothing else than: "France will always survive, no matter how hard the wind blows." The design of the sower was created by the medalist Louis-Oscar Roty after a classic motif: the Greek priestess Semele. The legend had it that the mortal Semele was consumed in lightning-ignited flames after her lover Zeus showed her his real nature. Zeus rescued their unborn baby, however, by sewing it into his thigh. Three months later, Dionysus was born, the god of wine, grapes, fertility and enjoyment. When he grew up, Dionysus rescued his mother from Hades, and brought her to Mount Olympus, where she lived on as goddess Thyone.


Signet Sunflower Foundation