The old francs printed in blue (1862-1872)
The period of the "Celestial Blue" color printed banknotes begins with a 100 francs Type 1862 bleu (Pick: #52a). It is also the first note to feature a reverse side of the front, and a new type of watermark Mercury head seen from the front. The Bank of France then issues a 500 francs Blue print Type 1863, a 1000 francs Blue claw Type 1863 and a 1000 francs Branches Type 1863. These remain unknown in a private collection to this day, except for a few rare tests or proofs unsigned and undated! Despite a law passed in June 1857 authorizing the issue of a 50 francs note, it was not until the spring of 1864 and at the insistence of the general public, that the Bank of France finally decided to issue the very first 50 francs Type 1864 Bleu(Pick: #50), designed after a drawing by the painter-engraver Guillaume-Alphonse Harang, known as "Cabasson". Between 1866 and 1868, four new notes were put into circulation: a 100 francs Type 1862 Bleu à indices noirs (Pick: #52b), a 500 francs Type 1863 Bleu (Pick: #53), a 1000 francs Type 1862 Bleu (Pick : #54) and a 1000 francs Branches Black marks Type 1862. In March 1869, a second note of 50 francs Type 1868 Bleu à indices noirs (Pick: #51) is put into circulation by the Bank of France. The first defeats of the war of 1870 against the Prussians and the ensuing panic, provoke the second forced course of the monetary history and impose a lowering of the ceiling of emission ... to 25 francs! Printed urgently on a laid paper without watermark, the 25 francs Type 1870 Paris (Pick: #56a) was put into circulation on September 1, 1870. Only the Prussian troops are at the gates of Paris. As a precaution, the Banque de France makes the decision to move away and install a printing annex in Clermont-Ferrand or are printed and marked with three stars, a 25 francs Type 1870 Clermont-Ferrand (Pick: #56b) and a 50 francs Type 1870 Clermont-Ferrand. The two variants of the 25 francs are very quickly replaced by a 20 francs Type 1871 Bleu (Pick: #55). But it comes into conccurence with the 20 gold coins and its show is just as ephemeral. The decade ends with the issue of the first 5 francs Type 1871 Bleu(Pick: #60). The twenty-five years of instability between 1846 and 1871, accompanied by a vertiginous division of the face value per thousand, will have been enough to democratize definitively the bank note among all the French!