Piedfort - Heavy Weight Coins - Silver Gold Platinum

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Piedfort - Heavy Weight Coins - Silver Gold Platinum
A piedfort is a specially struck coin, originally made for presentation, perhaps by a monarch. The word "piedfort" is French and literally means "heavy weight". Most piedforts are double the normal weight. Now made for sale to collectors.

Silver Gold and Platinum
Most of the modern piedforts, made to sell to collectors, are made in silver, gold, or platinum. They are usually double the normal thickness and weight, but some are only about 50% thicker and heavier than normal. Most of issued as proofs with highly polished fields and matt finish on their raised design surfaces.

Etymology
The word "piedfort" is French, and combines the two words "pied" meaning weight, and "fort" meaning strong or heavy, thus a piedfort is literally a "heavyweight" coin. From our schoolboy memories of French, we would have probably translated it as "strong foot"!

Pronunciation
French numismatists would of course have no problem pronouncing this word, but English speaking collectors and dealers all seem to have their own version of its pronunciation.
Here is our own "Chard" guide:
"Pee - ed - four"
Note, the final "t" is not pronounced, or is only pronounced very softly,
although
"pee - aid - four"
would also be about right.
We have heard the following, all of which are wrong:
Pied - fort (pide - fort)
piddy fort

UK Piedforts
In the UK, the Royal Mint started issuing silver proof piedforts in 1983 with the introduction of the new pound coin. They have continued every year since.
Fifty pence silver piedfort proofs have been issued since 1992.
The first piedfort silver proof crown was issued in 2000 for the Queen Mother's centenary year, and seems to have flopped slightly at release. They were originally sold at £67.50, but can now be bought for less.
In 2004, the Mint issued a piedfort proof £5 Entente Cordial crown in platinum, containing 3 tray ounces of platinum, probably because of a cooperative marketing campaign with the French Mint, the Monnaie de Paris. They seem to have been pleased with sales, as they repeated the experiment in 2005 and 2006 with platinum issues for Nelson and the Queen's eightieth birthday.

More to Follow
We cannot find any side-on photographs of piedforts in our extensive image library. We will take some photographs, and add them to this page soon.

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Author & Copyright Notice
Any images shown are our own copyright images. Our text and description is also copyright, Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins.

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