On September 1, 2008 the French mint launched the silver five euro coin into circulation. Supposedly there are two million of these silver coins around, but I have not seen one yet and didn’t even know they existed until I read a blog post about someone trying to pay with one, to much suspicion. You can reportedly get them at La Poste as change (maximum 3 per person). There are also 100 euro god coins in circulation since November 14th, but these are even more limited at just 15,000 minted, so don’t expect to find any left after collectors have hoarded them away.
If you’re interested in collecting interesting French coins you can shop around on the website of the Monnaie de Paris, where you can find all sorts of gold and silver commemorative coins and jewelry. A thoughtful gift in times of economic uncertainty. 😉