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France 2007 Marquis de Lafayette - Hero of the American Revolution 1/4 Euro Silver Quarter Proof-Like

Price: $49.95 $39.95
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Product Description

This low-mintage and VERY AFFORDABLE silver coin commemorates Lafayette as the Hero of the American Revolution!

LAFAYETTE_PORTRAIT.jpgSold out at the Mint!The story of Lafayette’s involvement in the American Revolution is truly stranger than fiction. His is a tale of a 19-year-old orphan, recently married and with a young child, an aristocrat, a personal friend of the King of France and affluent beyond measure, who journeyed to a foreign land he had only read about, to enlist in a floundering rebellion against the most powerful nation on earth.

Please see lower on the page for the full story of Lafayette's role in the American Revolution and more images!

The release of the Lafayette program was timed to coincide with the Independence Days of both the great democracies in whose revolutions Lafayette fought for freedom, July 4th in the United States and July 14th (Bastille Day) in France. The two coins in the program, one silver and one gold, commemorate the 250th anniversary of the great warrior's birth in 1757. The obverse of both coins feature a bust portrait of the young Marquis, facing left and half-turned forward. He wears the uniform of an American Revolutionary War general.

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HERMIONE.jpgLafayette’s warship, the 24-gun light frigate Hermione, is front and center on the reverse. As a particularly fleet ship he personally chose her (the better to outrun the more numerous British warships that would seek to prevent his mission to America), so she is depicted cresting the waves under full sail. Beneath the warship are the revolutionary flags (the tricolore of France and the “Betsy Ross” flag of the United States) of the two countries in whose rebellions he served. To the right of Hermione is its name, the year of issue, 2007, as well as the chief engraver’s privy mark and the traditional cornucopia mint mark of the Paris Mint.

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VALLEY_FORGE.jpg Investment Note
Monnaie de Paris (the French Mint) has greatly reduced the mintages on all of their collector coins. This ensures that each issue sells out and increases in value in the aftermarket. The Lafayette 1/4 euro silver proof-like has a mintage of only 5,000 worldwide. This is a very low mintage for such an affordable coin struck in 90% pure silver (the same purity as U.S. commemorative silver dollars). In addition, the finish is officially described as "proof-like brilliant uncirculated" by the mint, but they are actually single-struck, mirrored proofs, struck with specially-prepared planchets (blanks or flans) and specially-polished dies.

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The obverse features a highly-detailed bust portrait of the young Marquis, facing left and half-turned forward. He sports the uniform of an American Revolutionary War general, with the years of his life, 1757-1834, appearing to his left. Above Lafayette’s effigy is the legend LA FAYETTE, HÉROS DE LA RÉVOLUTION AMÉRICAINE. This is repeated on the reverse by its translation in English, LA FAYETTE, HERO OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. To the general’s right RF, for République Francaise, is also indicated.
Lafayette’s warship, the Hermione surmounts the revolutionary flags of France and the United States. To the right of Hermione is its name, the year of issue, 2007, as well as the chief engraver’s privy mark and the traditional cornucopia mint mark of the Paris Mint.



Each coin is encapsulated and presented in the traditional, blue Monnaie de Paris gift box. An individually numbered certificate of authenticity is included.
Country France
Year of Issue 2007
Face Value 1/4 Euro
Weight 13.00 g
Diameter 30.00 mm
Mintage Limit    5,000
Finish Proof-Like Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition .900 Fine Silver
Edge Plain
Certificate Individually Numbered


Lafayette, Hero of the American Revolution
LAFAYETTE_EQUESTRIANAlthough only a teenager, Lafayette presented himself as a volunteer to the Continental Congress in 1777 and was commissioned a major general. He not only served the entire Revolution without pay, but personally bought and outfitted a warship to carry him to the colonies, as well as arming and equipping the American soldiers who served in his division. He commanded with distinction throughout the war, both in minor skirmishes and major battles, such as Brandywine and Monmouth, the largest pitched battle of the revolution.

Lafayette’s crowning glory came in the victory that capped the Revolution. Utilizing George Washington’s training and following his specific orders, Lafayette harassed the British General Cornwallis’ much larger force in Virginia, practicing hit-and-run bush fighting tactics. As a result of his depredations, Cornwallis decided to hole up on the Yorktown peninsula and await relief. This ill-fated decision would lead the siege of Yorktown by Washington and Rochambeau’s army as well as the Comte de Grasse’s French fleet. The result was the final British surrender, for which Lafayette was present.

But the Marquis didn't just fight for the colonies militarily, he fought for them diplomatically as well. Visiting France in 1779, Lafayette was instrumental in convincing Louis XVI of France to ally with the Americans and to greatly increase the amount of military and economic aid the king had planned to send. Historians are unanimous in agreement that without this support the nascent nation would not have gained its freedom.

MOUNT_VERNON.jpgLafayette and his commander, Washington, quickly developed a bond unique in the annals of military history. Serving side by side in the heat of battle, the childless Washington and the orphan Lafayette quickly became as close as father and son, terms each used to describe the other. Washington appreciated that Lafayette was always a quick study, while Lafayette learned as much as he could from the older American about strategy, leadership and diplomacy. Such was their friendship that once the French Revolution had begun and Washington knew he would not live to see Lafayette again in person, he would weep openly at Mount Vernon whenever the dinner conversation turned to his adopted son. For his part, Lafayette named his only son George Washington Lafayette, and made the American general his godfather.

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“The Hero of Two Worlds”
Upon his return to France, Lafayette embarked on a life of nearly continual public service. King Louis XVI proclaimed him “the Hero of Two Worlds”, his nickname for the remainder of his life. He was at the forefront of the French Revolution - as vice-president of the National Assembly he wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, based on the Declaration of Independence. Just after this he ordered the burning of the Bastille in July, 1789, then was named commander of the newly-formed National Guard. When the Reign of Terror began Lafayette was branded a traitor for his moderate views and aristocratic background (even though he had publicly renounced his title “Marquis” in 1790), and was jailed for five years.

LAFAYETTE_GRAVE.jpgIn 1824, at the invitation of President James Madison, Lafayette made a triumphal return to the country that he helped liberate. As the last surviving general of the American Revolution, he was feted everywhere he went with balls, parades and honors. He was the most important visitor that the country had ever entertained, and was treated like a modern-day superstar. During his fifteen-month journey he managed to visit all 24 states of the Union, traveling as far west as St. Louis, in Missouri, the most recently-admitted state.

Lafayette died in 1834 in Paris. In accord with his last wishes, dirt he had taken from the Bunker Hill battlefield was spread over his grave, because he wished to be buried in both American and French soil. The United States has never forgotten the debt owed to the young, passionate Marquis. In 1900 the Lafayette Dollar, the country’s first commemorative dollar, was struck for the Paris Universal Exposition. To this day, an American flag flies over his tomb, and each year on the anniversary of his death, the American ambassador to France pays a visit to his final resting place. As if to underscore his significance to the nation he helped liberate, in 2002 Lafayette was posthumously made an Honorary Citizen of the United States, one of only six persons ever to be so honored.

Click here for an excellently-illustrated article about Lafayette!

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