The 2016 Queen Matilda 10 Euro Silver Proof coin is part of a series of French coins honoring great women in France’s culture and history. This Women of France coin series issued by the Monnaie de Paris commemorates the life of Matilda of Flanders (1031-1083). The wife of William the Conqueror, Queen Matilda was a public administrator who helped shaped national policy at a time when women otherwise were not tasked with such significant social and political roles.
Matilda was born the daughter of Baldwin V of Flanders and Adele of France; she was also the granddaughter of King Robert II of France. Matilda initially rejected the Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard’s marriage proposal but stuck with him after he dragged her from her horse as she rode to church one day. The two married around 1050 and had a generally happy marriage. Matilda served as Duchess of Normandy and was a profound force behind her husband as he embarked on a multitude of battles and conquests. She helped finance many of William’s campaigns and even funded the construction of the battleship Mora, which became his invasion fleet’s flagship. Following his conquest of England in 1066, William became the first Norman king, and Matilda was crowned queen.
Her reign lasted lass than 20 years, as she died in 1083 at the age of 51.
One of her lasting legacies is the 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a masterpiece of embroidery depicting several key events of the invasion of Normandy from 1064 through 1066. Legend says that she commissioned the expansive work.
Matilda is also featured on two gold French commemorative coins: the 2016 50 Euro 1/4-ounce gold Proof coin and the 200 Euro 1-ounce gold Proof. The two 2016 Queen Matilda gold coins share the same obverse and reverse designs with the 10 Euro silver coin, which contains 0.714 ounces of .900-fine silver.
The obverse design depicts the crowned queen with a pensive expression, looking to the left of the viewer at three-quarters view. Surrounding her effigy are the inscriptions REINE MATHILDE (“Queen Matilda”) and the dual date 1031-1083, marking her birth and death years.
The central device and inscriptions are superimposed over a graphical pattern. The shape of the coin is generally round but features imperfect edges, a result of a broadstrike method that evokes the look and feel of Medieval-era, hammered coinage.
As with the obverse, the reverse of the 10 Euro Queen Matilda coin is shared with the two gold Matilda coins that are also in the Women of France series. The reverse depicts William the Conqueror engaged in the Battle of Hastings of October 14, 1066 in a scene popularized by the Bayeux Tapestry. In the upper portion of the design under the inscription HASTINGS 1066 is Halley’s Comet, which visibly passed overhead during the battle.
Below the scene are the coin’s denomination, year of issue, and the initials RF–the latter referring to the nation’s name, Republique Française. A cornucopia, the Monnaie de Paris mintmark, is seen to the left of the date. To the right a small pentagon, which is the trademark of French Mint Director Yves Sampo. A textured pattern resembling scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry decorates the reverse fields.
The edge of the 2016 Queen Matilda silver coin is smooth.
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
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