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World Coin Profiles – France 2018 Aviation & History: Dakota Gold and Silver Coins

France 2018 Aviation & History - C47 Gold and Silver Coins
France 2018 Aviation & History – C47 Gold and Silver Coins

The Series

This new series on aviation and its history is paying tribute to major historical aircraft along with their stories. From the Spirit of Saint-Louis to brand new planes like the A380, most of the eras and types of aircrafts will be displayed.

Each year, two planes are presented on new collector coins following a common theme or characteristic – even though they are not always from the same era.

In this second year of the series, the common theme is transport. Both planes represented in 2018 have been robust carriers in their time. They also paratroopers and cargo drops in common. The drawing of the aircraft and box-sleeves was created by Romain Hugault, a comics author who specializes in aviation and is a pilot himself, under Joaquin Jimenez’ artistic direction. This collaboration enables the Monnaie de Paris to work with someone on a coin who is well-known and appreciated in both the aviation and comics worlds.

The Plane

The Dakota was created in 1936 by the American aircraft manufacturer McDonell Douglas. It was used for air transport and especially in 1944 during the Invasion of Normandy. It was used to drop the American paratroopers on Sainte-Mère-Eglise.

It was considered sturdy and reliable, and more than 10,000 copies were built. Beyond its purely military purposes, one of its most famous uses was the Berlin airlift set up in 1948 to supply West Berlin.

The Event

The Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 – May 12, 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. The Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin airlift to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin. Aircrews from the United States Air Force and the British Royal Air Force flew over 280,000 flights in one year, providing the West Berliners with up to two million tons of goods.

On June 26, 1963, U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was visiting West Berlin on the occasion of the 15 year anniversary of the Berlin Airlift when he delivered hia famous speech that ended wth the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!” – a speech that mean a lot to West Berlin residents facing the threat of the Soviet Union.



A plane designed in 1936 by aircraft manufacturer McDonell Douglas, the Dakota was used for air transport, in particular during D-Day in 1944. One of the plane’s most famous missions was the Berlin airlift set up in 1948 to supply West Berlin, which was cut off by the Soviet Blockade.

Since 2018 is the 70th anniversary of the event, the obverse of these commemorative coins features a close-up of the underbelly of a Dakota plane right before it delivers its payload to West Berliners on a pile of rubble below. The Brandenburg Gate is seen in the distance. A multitude of other planes flies above the scene. Inscriptions include C47-1948, the year 2018, the phrase “70 ans du pont aerien”, and the kennedy quote mentioned above.


The reverse, common to the series, features the profiles of two pilots, symbolising the different eras and types of use: civil and military. In the sky are several aircraft, also representing the different eras and uses, in a tribute to the history of aviation. The face value is inscribed on the bottom left of the reverse side, as is the symbol “RF”. Beneath the denomination and to the left is a cornucopia, the Monnaie de Paris mintmark. On the right is the square-within-a-suqare symbol of mint designer Joaquin Jimenez. To the right of the inscription L’AVIATION & L’HISTOIRE is the mark of current Monnaie de Paris mint master Yves Sampo–a pentagon containing the letters AG, MP and YS.


Designer Joaquin Jimenez has designed coins and medals for the Monnaie de Paris since 1986. His Starry Tree design serves as the national side of the French 1 and 2-euro circulating coins (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications:

Country: France
Year Of Issue: 2018
Denomination: Gold: 500, 200, 50 Euro; Silver: 50, 10 Euro
Mint Mark: Cornucopia
Mintage: Gold: 99 (500€), 500 (200€), 500 (50€); Silver: 250 (50€), 3,000 (10€)
Alloy: .999 Gold; .950 (50€) & .900 Silver
Weight: Gold: 155.5g (500€), 31.104g (200€), 7.78g (50€); Silver: 163.8g (50€), 22.2g (10€)
Diameter: Gold: 50mm (500€), 37mm (200€), 22mm (50€); Silver: 50mm (50€), 37mm (10€)
Quality: Enhanced, Proof

Keep up with all the latest coin releases from the world mints by clicking on CoinWeek’s World Coin Profiles Page.

CoinWeek IQ
CoinWeek IQ
With CoinWeek IQ, the editors and writers of CoinWeek dig deeper than the usual numismatic article. CoinWeek IQ provides collectors and numismatists with in-depth information, pedigree histories, and market analysis of U.S. coins and currency.

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