Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The conquest of most of western Europe by Revolutionary and Napoleonic France led to the franc's wide circulation. Following independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the new Kingdom of Belgium in 1832 adopted its own franc, equivalent to the French one, followed by Luxembourg in 1848 and Switzerland in 1850. Newly-unified Italy adopted the lira on a similar basis in 1862.
In 1865 France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy created the Latin Monetary Union (to be joined by Greece in 1868): each would possess a national currency unit (franc, lira, drachma) worth 4.5 g of silver or 0.290 322 g of gold (fine), all freely exchangeable at a rate of 1:1. In the 1870s the gold value was made the fixed standard, a situation which was to continue until 1914.
In 1926 Belgium as well as France experienced depreciation and an abrupt collapse of confidence, leading to the introduction of a new gold currency for international transactions, the belga of 5 francs, and the country's withdrawal from the monetary union, which ceased to exist at the end of the year. The 1921 monetary union of Belgium and Luxembourg survived, however, forming the basis for full economic union in 1932.
Like the French franc, the Belgian/Luxemburgese franc ceased to exist in January 1, 1999, when it became fixed at 1 EUR= 40.3399 BEF/LUF, thus a franc was worth 0.024789 €. Old franc coins and notes lost its legal tender status in February 28, 2002.
1 Luxembourg franc was equal to 1 Belgian franc. Belgian francs were legal tender inside Luxembourg and Luxembourg francs were legal tender in Belgium.
The equivalent name of the Belgian franc in Dutch, Belgium's other official language, was "Belgische Frank."
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