When Napoleon III, Emperor of France, declared war on Prussia in 1870 it was one of those rare moments in history when a man listened to his wife and took her advice but shouldn’t have. The war was a disaster for France and Napoleon III became the classic scapegoat of his time. The French coins in circulation at the time bearing his portrait were quickly defaced by engraving to make the unfortunate former emperor look like a traitor and converted the eagle on the reverse into an owl like vampire. Shortly there after these designs became die struck medals. Both the engraved coins and die struck medals are very collectible and command respectable prices. The coins of Nap. III in very worn condition are very common and the engravings are often very crude. What’s to keep someone with a very worn coin worth 50 cents from engraving it and adding 25.00 to it’s value? If they know how to age it properly, not much. To my way of thinking the less wear on the host coin the more likely it is to be a contemporary engraving. Illustrated below are four examples which I believe to be genuine.